Light Rail network …. a risky project … we can not afford !

At the last ACT election in 2012 the ACT Government (with ACT Greens endorsement, encouragement and a back room deal to support a minority ACT Labor Government) announced the start of “’the first stage of the Capital Metro project would include a 12 kilometre light rail route linking Gungahlin and Civic.  The project then was costed at [a whopping] $614 million, with ACT Labor committing $30 million in capital funding over two years.”  Now the cost has blown out to a HUGE $1 BILLION price tag.

At the time, the then Minister Simon Corbell stated, “the price tag is significant but we’ve decided that light rail is the best choice for Canberra,” (Refer: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-21/new-pricetag-for-canberra-light-rail/4273210?section=act).

The Murrumbidgee electorate is telling me that they are not convinced that the Capital Metro project is the best choice for Canberra and want to put a break on it.  They are alo are opposed to the Civic to Woden Light Rail project announced by the ACT Labor Greens Compact.  And their anxiety is well justifiable.

The ACT Government’s mismanagement of large scale risky projects is well documented. It has overseen multi-million dollar budget blow outs on the ACT Prison, the Cotter Dam extension, the Gungahlin Drive Extension and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.  Why then is the electorate expected to trust the revised $1 price tag?

A project of this size, risk and public importance should be publicly scrutinised. Who will carry the loss should one of the consortium partners go “belly up. “ Has the public been made aware of this.

If elected to the ACT Assembly I will make every effort through the ACT Assembly committee processes to put a break on the Light Rail projects, seek further community input and ensure that public funds are not put at further risk.

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