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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 May 2015) . . Page.. 1737 ..

motion. I do not think there is anything in part (1) which is particularly objectionable. In fact, the government has repeated the vast majority of it. For some reason they did not like (1)(d) or (1)(e), but otherwise it is, in effect, the same. Part (2) calls on the government to “reveal whether they will make an up-front capital contribution to capital metro”. Is there a problem with that? Is there a problem with the ACT Legislative Assembly seeking from the government an answer to whether they will be putting in an up-front capital contribution to light rail? Does Mr Rattenbury or anybody else in the Assembly have a problem with calling on the government to “disclose the revised annual availability payment if such a contribution is made”?

In effect, we are saying: if the government are going to put up capital in 2019 or 2020 and that is going to revise downwards what the availability payment is, according to the business case, how about they let us know. How about they let the people who are going to be paying for this know. Instead, the government have circulated an amendment which is pretty much going to say, “We’ll let Canberrans know how much it’s going to cost after we’ve committed them to it.” That is not good enough. I think it is right and proper that the government tell Canberrans—tell them as early as possible, tell them now, in fact—what will be the annual availability payment for 20 or 30 years.

I firmly believe that Canberrans have not voted for $80 million to $100 million every year for 20 or 30 years to pay for light rail. Canberrans deserve the opportunity to have the full cost of this project disclosed to them before giving them the chance to vote on whether they want to take on this liability. That having been said, I call on the ACT government to release their cost estimates for the annual availability payment so that Canberrans can know the real cost of light rail.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (4.58): I move the amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) the Capital Metro Full Business Case (‘the Business Case’) estimates the construction cost of Capital Metro at $783 million;

(b) the Business Case confirms the ACT Government will proceed with procuring the light rail via a Public Private Partnership;

(c) the Business Case contemplates the ability of the ACT Government to make a capital contribution toward the project;

(d) the Public Private Partnership will require the ACT Government to make periodic payments to a private consortium for a 20 year period after light rail is constructed and operational; and

(e) the ACT Government has been transparent and has released the full Business Case of Capital Metro, unlike many other jurisdictions for similar projects; and

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