What Is The Cost Ceiling For Light Rail?

The ACT government should articulate the cost at which it will abandon its plans for light rail, Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe said today.

“Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has drawn a line in the sand on the Gungahlin tram project, saying cabinet will not support a cost substantially beyond $614 million, adjusted for today’s dollars.” (CT, 10 June 2014)

“The government has said that the $614m price tag would be increased with inflation. However, based on what year will the figure be inflated?” Mr Coe said.

Base Year 2010: “Well the government has indicated that we are tracking consistent with an adjusted figure from the 2010 projection of just over $600 million.” (Simon Corbell, ABC 666, 1 July 2014)

Base Year 2011: “I would have to check my records but I think it would be in the 2011-12 year.” (Katy Gallagher, Hansard, 6 August 2014)

Base Year 2012: $614.4m in the ‘revised cost estimate’ published in Gungahlin to City Transit Corridor Project Update 3, September 2013

Using inflation:

If base year is 2010: the Chief Minister’s ‘line in the sand’ is $678m

If base year is 2011: the Chief Minister’s ‘line in the sand’ is $655m

If base year is 2012: the Chief Minister’s ‘line in the sand’ is $647m

“Which is it? The Chief Minister should clarify at what point the cost of the tram will be abandoned,” Mr Coe concluded.