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


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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