ACT light-rail backed


An independent review of the Canberra light rail project finds its projections are accurate

ACT light-rail backed
Canberra light-rail project

The business case for light-rail in Canberra is sound, according to a University of South Australia study.

Integration with the existing bus network, on which the people of Canberra currently rely, will be a key consideration throughout the development of the project.

ACT minister for capital metro Simon Corbell says the case study by Professor Derek Scrafton – who has 50 years’ experience in transport planning and finance – found that the cost-benefit analysis was fair and accurate.

Prior to the public release of the business case, Capital Metro Agency engaged Scrafton to provide independent advice on the methodology used.

"The ACT Government has been committed to openness and transparency throughout the light-rail project," Corbell says.

"While the independent review was primarily undertaken for internal purposes, it seems appropriate to release it publicly now to add to the current conversations about the business case."

Corbell feels this independent review should satisfy those questioning the financial merits of the project.

"Professor Scrafton’s review confirms that the methodology used in the business case is sound and that the document overall contains sufficient details and makes realistic conclusions and recommendations," Corbell says.

"It concludes that the business case is fit for the purpose for which it was prepared, uses appropriate and realistic methodologies in the analytical sections and follows guidelines, which are recommended and approved by national organisations."

Corbell says has confidence in the business case and the modelling that was provided by globally respected economists.

The first stage of the light-rail project has also been approved by the Federal Government, with $60 million dollars allocated.

"We have completed an expression of interest process, which attracted four private sector consortia, and we have recently shortlisted those expressions of interest to two consortia," Corbell says.

 

The project will create more than 3,500 jobs and will bring more than $1 billion dollars in economic benefits to Canberra, Corbell says.

 "Light-rail is a transformative project that will change the way we move around our city and lay the foundations for a transport network that will serve our city as it moves towards a population of 600,000 people by 2050."

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