25 September 2023

Trams cash in on budget saving

Start the conversation

The Chief Minister has announced that the final cost of the first stage of light rail has come in $32 million below budget.

In his role as Treasurer, Andrew Barr said the final cost was about $675 million — a saving of $108 million from the business case and $32 million from the contract.

“Two items contributed to this great result: We had the foresight to establish a dedicated project team with sound governance, talented leadership, motivated staff and expert advisors from across the country,” Mr Barr said.

“We also worked with a great partner in Canberra Metro who truly went above and beyond in delivering light rail for our community and, through CMET, continue to provide a high level of service as the light rail operator.”

He said the lower than anticipated cost by itself meant the benefit-cost ratio would increase to at least 1.3, rather than the original, conservative estimate of 1.2.

“That means for every dollar invested, Canberrans get $1.30 back in benefits, including better transport, lower congestion, more jobs and the increasing value of homes and businesses along the route,” the Chief Minister said.

Minister for Transport, Meegan Fitzharris said light rail was also beating the business case predictions on patronage.

“Light rail is proving to be hugely popular already, with more people using it every day, and as a result we’ve added more frequent services during peak times to manage this demand,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Along the light rail corridor the benefits are plain to see, with light rail getting people to work, opening up new customers to local businesses and seeing hundreds of Canberrans employed on building and construction projects along the alignment that are already using their proximity to light rail to attract buyers.”

She said the first stage of light rail saw around 5,000 people work on the project, and she hoped to build on that industry knowledge in the planning for Stage Two to Woden.

“We are already funding early works to prepare the Woden Interchange for the next stage of light rail,” Ms Fitzharris said.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.