GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO BE UPFRONT ABOUT FULL LIGHT RAIL COST

The Barr government is hiding the full cost of light rail and needs to be honest with Canberrans about the real burden the project will create for future generations of ACT taxpayers, Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe said today.

“Andrew Barr and Simon Corbell are trumpeting that light rail will cost around $700 million. However, they are completely neglecting the other costs which will be contained in the Annual Availability Payment,” Mr Coe said.

“The Availability Payment which will be made annually for decades if light rail proceeds includes the costs associated with financing, constructing and operating light rail. The government says it won’t be known until contracts are signed, so today in the Assembly I’ll be calling for an estimate to be made.

“Canberrans will have to pay for light rail. It’s only fair that the government tells Canberrans what they’ll have to pay before it signs a contract. Instead of trying to hide the bill that Canberrans will be forced to pay, the government should do the right thing and be completely transparent.

“The government is determined to try and lock generations of Canberrans into a contract which would be signed in final months of the electoral term.

“Without and doubt, the best course of action would be for the government to put the project on hold until after the election. This will allow Canberrans to have their say on whether the project goes ahead at all,” Mr Coe concluded.