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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 February 2015) . . Page.. 53 ..

Transport—light rail

MS FITZHARRIS: My question is for the Minister for Capital Metro. Minister, in October last year expressions of interest were called to develop stage 1 of Canberra’s light rail network. As expressions of interest closed in December, could you please update the Assembly about the outcome of this process.

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her first question in this place. I can advise the Assembly that the expression of interest process has closed for the capital metro project. The government is very pleased with the response from the private sector. Four separate consortia have expressed interest in the development of the capital metro project. These four private sector consortia consist of local, national and international companies. They are all of the highest standard. This very high level of interest in this project is confirmation that the private sector is treating this project very seriously and recognises the potential for this project to make a significant impact on the way our city grows and develops.

The four consortia who have bid to deliver the project have identified themselves as Canberra Metro, ACTivate, Connecting Canberra and CANGO. The lead respondents in each of these consortia are, respectively, Pacific Partnerships; Downer EDI Works and Keolis Downer; Capella Capital; and the Macquarie Capital Group. The companies involved in the consortia include many well-known names, such as Mitsubishi, Bank of Tokyo, Leighton Contractors, Siemens and Keolis. The list of national and international companies keen to be involved in the development of Canberra’s light rail system is extensive.

Unlike those opposite, we treat very seriously private sector investors wanting to come and spend money in our city—come and create jobs in our economy at a time when we need them most, and invest in and bring their expertise to our city at a time when it needs to make a step change to a more sustainable future. Of course, there are many local companies engaged in these consortia as well. We welcome their engagement in these broader consortia.

This is a unique opportunity for the growth and development of our city. It is fantastic to see this level of interest from the private sector. The number of potential public-private partners who have come forward is stronger than the number of consortia who came forward, for example, for the latest Sydney light rail project. It means we have a competitive process to select from. That means more competition between the bidders and the potential for better value for money for the community as a whole.

These are good indicators as to the strength and robustness of the process we are embarked upon. We will now be undertaking a detailed assessment process to short-list and then invite the short-listed consortia to proceed to the request for proposal stage.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how will the community be consulted about this city-changing project?

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