Page 1738 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 13 May 2015

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(2) notes:

(a) the ACT Government will outline its position regarding a potential capital contribution to Capital Metro in due course; and

(b) once the contract is signed and details are able to be released the ACT Government will reveal a contract summary, including project costs.”.

I take the opportunity this evening to talk about the delivery model for light rail stage 1 and the government’s position on making a capital contribution. As members would be aware, the capital metro project is being delivered using an availability public-private partnership model, also referred to as a PPP. Through this model the government is appointing a private sector consortium to design, build, finance, maintain and operate capital metro stage 1 for a 20-year operating period post construction.

The project provides a unique opportunity for organisations to partner with the government in shaping the future of the nation’s capital and delivering the first stage of a new light rail network.

Following an expression of interest process we have two world-leading consortia short-listed to deliver the first stage of Canberra’s light rail network. The two consortia, ACTivate and Canberra Metro, contain some of the world’s largest companies when it comes to delivering major infrastructure projects and operating successful public transport networks. The make-up of each consortium is reflective of the high level of interest and strong market appetite for the project. Both ACTivate and Canberra Metro have a high level of international and national experience in delivering transport projects.

It is often forgotten that capital metro is actually the second major infrastructure project in the ACT to be delivered by a public-private partnership. By delivering this project through a PPP, we can capitalise on the skills and knowledge of the private sector to deliver a world-class light rail system befitting one of the world’s most livable cities.

Under the ACT partnerships framework for public-private partnerships, the ACT can consider making a capital contribution to a PPP if it represents value for money to the territory. The capital metro business case, publicly released last year, identified the potential for a capital contribution to the project. Following approval of the business case, the Capital Metro Agency and Treasury have further investigated the merits of a capital contribution and how this might best be structured.

Recognising light rail as an important infrastructure project for Canberra’s future, the Australian government—that is, the federal Liberal Australian government—has committed to injecting $60 million to the first stage of capital metro as part of its asset recycling initiative. Under this initiative the Australian government’s contribution, as well as identifying asset sale proceeds, is specifically to be applied to the capital metro project.

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