Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Capital Metro funding from ACT 2015/16 Budget

ACT Chair Damien Haas attended the ACT budget Briefing on 2 June 2015. Chief Minister Andrew Barr emphasised that the investment in Capital Metro was a significant boost to the local economy, at a sorely needed time, and that it would also deliver transport and urban renewal benefits - for decades.

The biggest light rail news out of the budget was that after construction is complete, the ACT Government will pay for Capital Metro by making a capital contribution of $375 million. This is funded by the sale of ACTTAB and ageing public housing stock under the Federal Government's Asset Recycling Scheme. 

The other funding announcement for light rail was that the Capital Metro Agency will receive $51.8 million for the provision of specialised technical, program management, legal and commercial advisory services with most of this money to be spent in the first and last years of the project. 

The Capital Metro Agency budget statement can be found here

The 2015/16 ACT Budget papers can be found here

The Canberra Times article on public transport funding from the 2015/16 budget can be found here.

  • The Barr government has signalled for the first time it intends to make a $375 million capital contribution for the light rail line to Gungahlin. 
  • Funded from the sale of assets including ageing public housing stock and out dated government office blocks, the Capital Metro payment will also include money raised from the 15 per cent "asset recycling" bonus from the Abbott government, worth $60 million and announced earlier this year. 
  • The $375 million contribution payment, calculated as half of a roughly $750 million total project cost, will only be paid after completion of construction and the start of services on the line from the city to Gungahlin, expected in 2019. 
  • The full cost – expected to be about $783 million – will be paid through a combination of the capital contribution and availability payments made over 20 years
  • Public transport attracts about 3 per cent of the budget's funds, or $152.4 million
  • The figure is about $394 for each ACT resident
  • ACTION buses will receive an extra $17.2 million this financial year to deal with operational capacity and worker's compensation costs.
  • ACTION fell short of its patronage projections, recording 17.8 million boardings rather than 18.5 million budgeted. 
  • It also fell short of targets for services operating on time: 73 per cent of buses turned up on schedule. The target was 75 per cent for buses arriving one minute before timetabled or within four minutes after.  
  • The network cost per passenger boarding was $7.90, more than 40 cents above the government target.  

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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