Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chief Minister wants Capital Metro costs to match projections

In todays Canberra Times, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher observes that the costs of Capita Metro must be in line with previously projected figures, adjusted in line with the delay between then (2011) and now. This is an important message for the financial and construction community to hear, especially as the ACT Government has a chequered past when it comes to administration of major infrastructure projects.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has drawn a line in the sand on the Gungahlin tram project, saying cabinet will not support a cost substantially beyond $614 million, adjusted for today’s dollars.
Asked whether  the team was working on a figure of $800 million to $900 million, Ms Gallagher said she hadn’t seen that estimate, but $614 million was the figure put on the project in 2011, and “cabinet’s tolerance is in that order, updated for 2014 dollars”.
“People are very keen to make sure we can build it within a reasonable cost estimate, no one wants to be pursuing something that is getting to costs that you’re indicating,” she said. “The tolerance is that we want it to be done as efficiently and cheaply as possible for the stage one outlined.”
Converting $614 million to today’s dollars, or even 2015 dollars for when the government wants to sign a  contract on the project, still gives a figure well below $700 million.
Ms Gallagher said the final cost would depend on the staging and the route.
Her public comments on the light rail project are consistently less bullish than those of other ministers, especially Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell, who has declared his determination to “stay the course” on a project that “needs to happen”. 
Ms Gallagher, though, has already ruled out a blank cheque.
''We’re going to be sensible with this project, we’re not going to be silly,'' she said in May. 

The Canberra Times article can be found here.

For more frequent updates on Capital Metro and light rail related news, please visit our Facebook page 'Light Rail for Canberra'.  

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