ACT Labor's $800 million Capital Metro light rail project promises to change Canberra's face dramatically, but only if it's realised.
There's a feeling of cautious optimism around Gungahlin about light rail, one of the two final stops on the government's planned route.
Some businesses can't wait for it to arrive, while others are taking a wait and see approach.
Worryingly, some shopkeepers didn't know a shred of detail about the project, even though the road outside their business was about to be ripped up for the incoming tram.
All this suggests a community with soft attitudes to the government's multi-million-dollar baby – if things start going wrong, or if it's delayed, cautious optimism could rapidly turn into harsh criticism.
If it's done right, retailers have good reason to be excited – light rail could be a shot in the arm for Canberra's newest town centre.
While the specifics of the project's business case are still being debated, it's no secret that many businesses and retailers in the capital region are banking on a major boost from the project and its spinoffs.
But as with anyone major government project, the risk of going over budget and over time is always present and with ACT Labor banking their credibility on light rail, any difficulties will be magnified exponentially.
Canberrans haven't forgotten the Bruce Stadium controversy in 2000 – a big ticket government spending item which significantly blew its budget and cost former chief minister Kate Carnell her political career.
All this could spell disaster for the traders in Gungahlin if construction chokes their roads or a new government under Jeremy Hanson tears up the contracts, leaving a half-finished project.
Gunghalin retailers would be prudent to look beyond the potential introduction of light rail by casting their eyes to their southern neighbours in Braddon.
A tired, light industrial suburb dominated by repair workshops and the automobile industry, its remarkable transformation and diversification has attracted, culture, spirit and vibrancy.
The new public service building in Gungahlin due to bring 500 of Canberra's finest to the area by April 2015 should provide fresh impetus, but there is more that can be done. As seen in Braddon, making space available for artists, musicians and independent retailers can bring a welcome diversity to a region, thereby making it more attractive as a destination.
Making the town centre more appealing and welcoming to young, creative retailers will make it more attractive to cash-up inner-city types keen to be part of the scene, bringing welcome traffic to existing businesses.
It has worked in other parts of the city, it can work in Gungahlin too.
With or without a tram.
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