Productivity Commission Slams ACT Government for Capital Metro Decision

The Productivity Commission’s Public Infrastructure report specifically highlights the ACT government’s decision to go ahead with light rail as an example of how not to develop infrastructure, Shadow Transport Minister Alistair Coe said today.

Amongst the numerous paragraphs criticising the project, the report states:

“The ACT Government’s decision to proceed with a light rail project appears to be an example of where the results of cost–benefit analysis have been ignored without a valid explanation.” (Page 94)

The report highlights the fact that the government’s own analysis indicated that an investment in bus infrastructure would return a considerably higher return on investment than light rail.

Regarding the process used by the ACT government in selecting light rail, the Productivity Commission said that it “would not appear to provide a sound basis for overlooking this and deciding to proceed with light rail.” (Page 95)

“The Productivity Commission’s report is an embarrassment for the ACT government and will be a cause of alarm to Canberra’s taxpayers,” Mr Coe said.

“To be singled out by the Productivity Commission as a case study for how to not make decisions is an indictment on this government. The Canberra Liberals have always been critical about the motivations behind Capital Metro.

“The Productivity Commission joins Infrastructure Australia, under Prime Minister Gillard, in being critical of the light rail proposal. In light of the latest criticism, I hope the government reconsiders its ill-conceived project,” Mr Coe concluded.

The report can be found at:

http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/137280/infrastructure-volume1.pdf