MIL-OSI Australia: Light rail vehicles to start testing on Northbourne Avenue

Source: Australian Capital Territory – State Government

Released 22/01/2019

Light rail vehicle testing will begin along Northbourne Avenue and the Federal Highway today as construction nears completion on Canberra’s biggest infrastructure project.  

All elements of the light rail infrastructure and system are being tested, including the light rail vehicles (LRVs), the track, signaling and passenger information systems.

“This is another huge milestone in the light rail project, and I’m sure many people will be excited to see LRVs starting to be tested closer to the city,” said Minister for Transport Meegan Fitzharris.

“The testing of LRVs along Northbourne Avenue and Federal Highway will give many more people the opportunity to see and experience LRVs travelling along the light rail track.  

“Whilst this is an exciting time, it is important for everyone in the community to stay safe around light rail. Please cross the tracks only at intersections and designated crossings, look both ways before you cross the tracks and stay alert when walking and cycling around the light rail corridor – light rail vehicles are quiet and take longer to stop than other vehicles.

“When driving near the light rail, do not queue across intersections and wait for the path ahead to be clear before you drive across the tracks. Traffic light patterns at intersections are changing as the light rail integrates with the road network.

“I’d really encourage people to stay alert and pay close attention to traffic light signals, and not to risk it by running red lights.”

What to expect during testing:

  • Testing of LRVs along Northbourne Avenue and Federal Highway will mostly take place between the hours of 5:00am and 9:00pm. Some limited LRV testing may take place between the hours of 9.00pm and 5.00am.
  • Multiple LRVs may be operating in both directions.
  • LRVs must wait until they have a white ‘go’ T-light signal before proceeding through intersections.
  • Noise impacts will generally be low and limited to the ‘hum’ of the electric LRV plus the sound of the bell as LRVs pull into and leave stops. LRVs may also sound their horns if required.
  • Testing along Northbourne Ave will start with the LRVs operating at low speed. Over time, testing speeds will increase until they achieve ‘line’ speed, which is the speed they will travel when the service is operating with passengers.

Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) and Canberra Metro are working hard to deliver Canberra’s light rail. We appreciate the continued patience of the public and the support of the Canberra community during this time.

– Statement ends –

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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MIL-OSI Australia: Canberrans urged to reduce electricity use

Source: Australian Capital Territory – State Government

Released 17/01/2019

The ACT is strongly encouraging electricity consumers to help take some strain off our electricity supply during the current hot weather conditions.

Earlier this afternoon the ACT was advised by the Australian Energy Market Operator of the potential for very high electricity demand tomorrow across the NSW network due to extreme heat conditions. This has the potential to give rise to minor supply shortfalls between 3.00 pm to 5.30 pm tomorrow, Friday 18 January 2019.

“While the ACT has one of the most reliable electricity networks in the country, the effects of climate change, such as higher temperatures and more regular extreme weather events, are putting greater stress on our electricity grid especially during summer,” said Geoffrey Rutledge, Deputy Director-General, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development.

“There is currently enough energy in the electricity system to service the ACT. However, by pulling together and reducing our energy use, we can help to provide a ‘buffer’ for the system, decreasing the likelihood of electricity supply shortfalls and supporting our community during heatwave events.

“We want people to stay cool and out of the heat as much as possible but there are many simple actions we can take, apart from turning the fan or air conditioning off, to reduce the strain on our electricity network.

“Before you go to work tomorrow, turn off what you sensibly can and during the day think about whether you need to be using electrical equipment.”

Tips for residents to reduce electricity include:

  • turn off unnecessary residential lighting
  • restrict use of air conditioning (set temperature to 26°C or higher)
  • minimise use of cooking equipment
  • consolidate refrigeration and turn off unnecessary fridges
  • avoid use of dishwashers, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners & second TV
  • turn off domestic pool pumping and heating operation for the day
  • avoid use of TVs or computers for game purposes
  • turn off appliances usually left in standby mode – including TVs, DVDs, videos, stereos, computers, microwave ovens, battery chargers and portable power supplies

Tips for businesses to reduce electricity include:

  • limit the use of air conditioners to occupied spaces only and setting the thermostat to no less than 26°C
  • turn off unnecessary interior lighting, particularly in unoccupied spaces
  • turn off advertising lighting and any unnecessary exterior lighting
  • turn off heating appliances for swimming pools or spas
  • turn off appliances usually left in standby mode
  • turn off computer hard drives and screens unless in use
  • turn off water heating systems and urns.

Please note: Those with serious illness, or those whose life maintaining equipment require power are not required to voluntarily restrict their energy use.

“Given the hot weather, it is important people still take appropriate precautions for their own safety and comfort, in particular those in our community that are more vulnerable including the elderly, pregnant women, young children and babies,” Mr Rutledge said.

“We are just asking people to consider how they could limit their non-essential electricity use, especially during the peak expected electricity use period of between 3.00 pm to 5.30 pm.

“The ACT Government will continue to work closely with the Australian Energy Market Operator, Evoenergy (formerly ActewAGL) and our NSW counterparts to assess and monitor the situation.”

Mr Rutledge said that an electricity supply shortfall could result in ‘rotational load shedding’.

“Load shedding occurs when the electricity supply to customers is interrupted because demand is higher than the supply the system is able to generate at that particular time. During load shedding selected residential areas would be switched off for a period of up to two hours on a scheduled basis.”

Mr Rutledge said further updates will be provided as they become available and be provided at www.environment.act.gov.au

– Statement ends –

Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases

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MIL-OSI Australia: More ambulances and paramedics for our growing city

Source: Australian Capital Territory – State Government

Released 17/01/2019

The ACT Government is investing in five new ambulances and two new paramedic crews to ensure Canberra maintains the fastest ambulance response times in the country.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentlemen today announced $15.7 million in funding for two new paramedic crews and five new ambulances.

Thirty new paramedics will progressively join ACT Ambulance Service (ACTAS) to fill the two new crews.

Five new state-of-the-art ambulances fitted with electronic stretchers, power loaders and brand new defibrillators will join the ACTAS fleet.

More frontline staff and new equipment demonstrate our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of our growing city and keeping Canberrans safe.

This adds to the 23 new paramedics and two new ambulances delivered in 2017-18 and shows the Government is continuing to invest in our core emergency services as Canberra grows.

We also bolstered the ACTAS fleet in 2018, with five new ambulances replacing older vehicles and six more ambulances being fitted with electric stretchers and power loaders.

ACTAS has seen steady growth in the number of Triple Zero (000) calls in recent years due to population growth and changes in the age profile of the Canberra community, with ambulance call outs rising from 35,000 in 2009-10 to 54,000 in 2017-18.

– Statement ends –

Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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