Thursday, May 24, 2012

Canberra Times uncovering more light rail builds cheaper than Corbells

Following on from recent calls for the costings that the ACT Government have been relying on, to claim that a 12 km light rail from Civic to Gungahlin wold cost up to $870 million, todays Canberra Times carries an article looking at recent light rail construction and the much lower price tags they carry.

The Canberra Times article 'Adelaide tram line cost half ACT plan' is here. 

Minister Corbell may have felt that by inflating the costs to build light rail, he may have driven a stake through the heart of better public transport forever. Instead he has drawn attention to the issue and while most of the public may have bought his line when it came out, now that journalists, industry peak bodies and respected business leaders speak up - the general public is paying attention.

Todays paper carries some more contemporary costings, to add to those printed yesterday. Minister Corbell challenged people to prove him wrong - and  they have accepted that challenge.

"The South Australian government built a tram line into the heart of Adelaide for less than half the per-kilometre price the ACT government has proposed for light rail from Civic to northern Canberra.
A 2.8-kilometre tram line in Adelaide was completed in 2010 and cost $94 million, or about $33.5 million per kilometre, including work to widen a bridge.

The estimated (ACT) costs are also double to triple the cost of other light-rail projects in other capital cities, including Sydney, according to a 2010 feasibility study for light rail in Stirling City in Western Australia."

Chris Faulks from the Canberra Business Council is also quoted. Chris Faulks should be listened to as she was on the panel selected by John Stanhope to oversee the business case for the ACT's Infrastructure Australia light rail bid in 2008.

Canberra Business Council chief executive Chris Faulks said the 2008 study estimated 54 kilometres of light rail for the territory would cost just over $2 billion, but would bring an economic benefit of $5 billion.

Release the figures Minister and allow them to be independently scrutinised.

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