Property Council comes out swinging for light rail. Wants to know who’s going to pay?

LightRail_Web_Blog2

THE Property Council ACT’s Catherine Carter has come out strongly in support of the Capital Metro light rail project.

“The $600 million Capital Metro project – with Stage One linking the city to Gungahlin and Dickson Town Centre – has the potential to create jobs, attract investment and provide economic uplift across the capital,” Catherine said.

“We need our own critical infrastructure projects in the nation’s capital – and a project that can help Canberra become a more liveable, efficient and sustainable city ticks a lot of boxes.

“Canberra is unique, in that rail corridors were embedded in city planning – this makes the project a relatively straightforward proposition.

“Of course, the devil is in the detail, and the big question is: who will pay for the project?

“Industry is ready to champion Capital Metro, but we need to see costings and budgets, as well as a funding model. The ACT Government is considering the concept of ‘value capture’ – using an increase in land values to raise money for the project, as well as the introduction of a special rating zone. No matter which way you look at it, new taxes in the form of increases in rates or through development levies all amount to the same thing: another tax for an already overtaxed industry.

“While how we fund light rail is up for debate, an integrated public transport system is essential for Canberra’s future as a city of opportunity.”

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