Page 2835 - Week 07 - Thursday, 7 June 2012

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some that there is a conspiracy to make light rail look unaffordable and therefore make the decision to not support it easier. Can I just say that that is not the case.

From my understanding, the cost per kilometre of light rail can vary significantly, from around $10 million a kilometre to as expensive as $90 million a kilometre, depending on the infrastructure requirements. I think there has been the example used of Adelaide, and perhaps now Ms Le Couteur with New South Wales. These are an extension of existing infrastructure, and so some of that cost per kilometre is less than building in an entire new system that you have never had before. If the scale is between $10 million and $90 million, and they vary across the projects and across the world, the early costings for the ACT light rail system sit right square in the middle of that, at around $60 million per kilometre.

But as I said, those were early costings. More work is being done. When that work is finished, it will be released to the public.


MR SPEAKER: I would like to inform members that we are joined in the public gallery today by public servants from the Economic Development and Environment and Sustainable Development directorates. I welcome you to the Assembly.

Questions without notice


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the cost of living statement in the 2012 ACT budget paper 3 does not include any consideration of the effects on families and households of such taxes as the utility tax or of parking fees. It is estimated that the cost of living impact of the budget excluding the utility tax and parking fees was $640 per year for the average household. Treasurer, why have you not included an analysis of the effect of the utility tax in the cost of living statement?

MR BARR: That tax is not directly applied to households.


MR SMYTH: Treasurer, why have you not included an analysis of the effects of increases in parking fees in the cost of living statement?

MR BARR: As the member would be aware, not every Canberran pays for parking. In fact, those who are employed within the parliamentary triangle and in a number of our employment centres do not pay for parking. The government has been clear in relation to the budget papers and it has been clear for some time that there are annual increases in parking fees. If those opposite believe that there should be no further increase in parking fees ever then let the Leader of the Opposition get up and make that statement in his address in reply and indicate his belief that there should never be another increase in fees in this city ever again. Then he can explain to everyone how he would pay for that.

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