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Can the Tram crash light rail contract signing announcement

By Charlotte Harper - 17 May 2016 34

Light rail

Can the Tram protesters gatecrashed the announcement today on Northbourne Avenue of the signing of contracts between the ACT Government and the successful light rail consortium, Canberra Metro.

See a more detailed version of this story here, learn more about the signing of the contract here, and see how the Canberra Liberals reacted here.

The protesters held a large anti-tram banner behind Capital Metro Minister Simon Corbell as he made the announcement that paves the way for the start of construction on Canberra’s first light rail project.

A Can the Tram spokesman said they learnt of the event via a media report but none of the gathered media had reported the venue for the announcement.

A spokesman for the Canberra Liberals denied alerting the organization to the event.

Mr Corbell was good humoured about the stunt, acknowledging afterwards that the protesters were entitled to be there.

More to come, part of media release on contract signing and additional light rail-related news below:

Mr Corbell said the contract also delivered additional features that would improve the way Canberrans make use of inner city spaces.

A new area called Civic Plaza will create an accessible, usable and vibrant space between the Sydney and Melbourne buildings that will link the east and west sides of the CBD.

“With the new Civic Plaza we will create an area that brings people together in the middle of our city, bridging the gap between east and west,” Mr Corbell said.

“The upgraded Alinga Street terminus will give us a destination worthy of its place in the heart of the city and the dynamic lighting at stops along the route will add to the vibrancy of Canberra nights and will improve the experience of people using the corridor no matter which method they choose to travel.

“The artists impressions released today are just an example of how this space could be developed into a active and enjoyable community space.”

Mr Corbell said over the 20 years of the contract the annual availability payment, which includes operational costs such as electricity, drivers and maintenance as well as construction costs, would be approximately $48m in the first 12 months of operations and finish at approximately $75m for the last 12 months of the contract term in 2038, with an average annual availability payment of approximately $64m.

“Over its 20 year operations period this contract will account for less than 1 per cent of ACT Government expenditure,” Mr Corbell said.

“The Australian Government has also demonstrated its support by increasing its contribution to the project to $67 million.

“We are committed to building a city that continues to be one of the most liveable places in the world. The opportunity to build such a bold and visionary project shows that Canberra is a city of innovation, sustainable living and truly part of the global economy.”

The contract’s capital cost will be approximately $710 million, much less than the cost originally estimated in the business case for the project. This cost will be finalised when financial close for the project is reached in the coming weeks.

The ACT Government would be making a capital contribution of $375m towards the project in 2018-19. This $375m is funded from the sale of assets – such as ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT Government office accommodation – and includes a 15% bonus from the Commonwealth as part of the Asset Recycling Initiative.

The first stage of Canberra’s light rail network is an important part of the government’s integrated transport plan. As of July 1, the new Transport Canberra agency will coordinate buses and light rail planning, timetabling and fares and will develop a single ticket for use across the system, which will help to manage Canberra’s growth by reducing congestion on Canberra’s roads.

Figures for availability payments exclude territory contingency amounts and are approximate until the project reaches financial close in the coming weeks.

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34 Responses to
Can the Tram crash light rail contract signing announcement
Zan 9:54 am 18 May 16

Can the Tram? How stupid are we? Other cities are building more tramway in a bid to cut pollution. Freiburg, Germany; Helsinki, Finland and Zurich, Switzerland for instance. See here http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/17/how-are-cities-around-the-world-tackling-air-pollution

wildturkeycanoe 7:09 am 18 May 16

“A new area called Civic Plaza will create an accessible, usable and vibrant space between the Sydney and Melbourne buildings that will link the east and west sides of the CBD.”
Great idea, let’s build a plaza across what is currently the main thoroughfare for traffic into and out of the city from south Canberra. If there was ever a way to increase traffic congestion on the Commonwealth Avenue bridge and Adelaide Avenue, this is it. Gungahlin residents get better public transport whilst the rest of Canberra gets even more time stuck in traffic jams.
I wonder if by “vibrant” they mean what they have along to Flemington Road between Harrison and Franklin, with the “vibrant” designs of their multi-storey units continuing the industrial look found in Mitchell? What an awful prison-like wind tunnel that area has become, with the same bland grey tones being repeated building after building, with the odd splash of hideous colour leaving me wondering what the architects really think about their work after it has been constructed. Where is the appeal? What happened to nicely sculpted facades, columns, cornices? I am not talking about the rubbish pieces of steel they’ve tacked onto the outside of the Wayfarer in Belconnen [What an atrocity], but some old school class to bring out the best in a building’s features, like what is found on the Melbourne and Sydney buildings in Civic. I am afraid ACTPLA has opted for the concrete jungle look, with a dab of colour here and there in a feeble attempt to mask the drabness. Where is the boldness and vision in these designs?

gooterz 1:29 am 18 May 16

rosscoact said :

Masquara said :

Someone (unspecified) says

“The ACT Government would be making a capital contribution of $375m towards the project in 2018-19. This $375m is funded from the sale of assets – such as ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT Government office accommodation…”

This ‘fully funded’ concept has always intrigued me. In its last budget the ACT deficit was $407 million. That means they spent $407 million more than they received.

Under a deficit of this magnitude, any sales of assets such as public housing stock is not some windfall that they can splurge in whimsical fashion as if there are no other calls on those funds.
It beats me why anyone swallows this nonsense, especially the supposedly cynical media.

I know that sections of the Green left think that a government can’t go broke – and perhaps they’re right.
But someone DOES have to pay for all this, whether it’s poor people being unable to access public housing in the future, or the next government having to run down infrastructure because of huge debts, etc.

But by this time, Barr, Rattenbury and the tram carpetbaggers and boosters will have moved on.

$2b over 20 years is about $275 per person per year in 2016 dollars and assuming there is not population growth in the next 20 years.

Like a house expensive when you buy but gets less and less as your income increases but the investment cost remains in the dollars when you brought it.

That’s $5000 for someone that was born today and won’t have a job for another 15 years! Per every 12Km of track.

Go to Queanbeyan and you pay $0.

JC 11:42 pm 17 May 16

Masquara said :

Someone (unspecified) says

“The ACT Government would be making a capital contribution of $375m towards the project in 2018-19. This $375m is funded from the sale of assets – such as ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT Government office accommodation…”

This ‘fully funded’ concept has always intrigued me. In its last budget the ACT deficit was $407 million. That means they spent $407 million more than they received.

Under a deficit of this magnitude, any sales of assets such as public housing stock is not some windfall that they can splurge in whimsical fashion as if there are no other calls on those funds.
It beats me why anyone swallows this nonsense, especially the supposedly cynical media.

I know that sections of the Green left think that a government can’t go broke – and perhaps they’re right.
But someone DOES have to pay for all this, whether it’s poor people being unable to access public housing in the future, or the next government having to run down infrastructure because of huge debts, etc.

But by this time, Barr, Rattenbury and the tram carpetbaggers and boosters will have moved on.

$2b over 20 years is about $275 per person per year in 2016 dollars and assuming there is not population growth in the next 20 years.

Like a house expensive when you buy but gets less and less as your income increases but the investment cost remains in the dollars when you brought it.

rommeldog56 11:30 pm 17 May 16

Masquara said :

Bold and visionary? Come on, Corbs, it’s a tram.

The giant catapult idea someone posted on this site a few years back (I can’t find the article/comment)… now, THAT was visionary. It proposed to single-handedly eliminate the public transport problem in Canberra by slingshotting people home from work into giant nets erected in outlying suburbs. I still laugh when I think about it.

The “bold” bit must be about tripling Annual Rates,dramatically increasing other ACT Govt charges, reducing munciple services, increasing the numbers of MLAs and spending b$1.2+ on 12Ks of tram tract that is not even along an optimal route.

The “visionary” bit must be reference to doing that at the cost of other fiscal priorities, like fixing the worst performing hospital, against a backdrop of a near record ACT territory budget deficit.

That catapult idea was great – very funny. But instead of it being used to catapult commuters home, perhaps it can be used to catapult ACT Labor/Greens MLAs who voted for the Tram, out of the ACT (leaving their superannuation behind of course to help pay for it).

Leon 11:15 pm 17 May 16

At tonight’s North Canberra Community Council meeting, Emma Thomas explained that the Government will pay $375 million on completion of the construction of Capital Metro, and that the annual payments will cover BOTH annual operating costs AND the remaining capital repayments.

She said that the Net Present Value of the payments would be about $950 million.

On that basis, Capital Metro’s benefit-cost ratio will be about 1.2.

rommeldog56 11:11 pm 17 May 16

So, when will the signed contracts, with termination clauses and associated penalties to be met by ACT Ratepayers, be made public ???

rommeldog56 10:55 pm 17 May 16

From the OP :

” Over its 20 year operations period this contract will account for less than 1 per cent of ACT Government expenditure, Mr Corbell said. “

Um…..this is for stage 1, just 12 Ks of track. How many other tram stages will be necessary ? And it is Corbell’s ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t that has , yet again, been caught out falsifying hospital waiting times – and it is still one of the worst performing hospitals in the country despite the rigging of the figures !

So, its “just 1 percent” of the ACT Budget, which is at near record deficit levels, that will not be available to fix the hospital mess once and for all.

Honestly, how can members of this ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t sleep at night ?

rommeldog56 10:36 pm 17 May 16

Lets see if my math is right.

m$64 avg pa “availability payment” x 20 years is b$1.280 . add to that project costs by ACT Gov’t for associated infrastructure works (such as roads and power sub stations, etc).

And there were/are some ning nong contributors on here saying that it wont cost anywhere near b$1.

How blind can those contributors (and ACT voters !) be……… ????

rosscoact 10:02 pm 17 May 16

Bring it on. I’ll be using it every weekend, the wife will use it daily to get to and from work.

Libs won’t get it because they’ll just blow a billion on some other crap and we won’t be any better off. Liberal governments are just too profligate to survive. They have no idea how to manage a budget and I for one enjoy living here too much to see it go down the toilet under the drunken sailor ideology that they employ.

Wake up sheeple.

gooterz 7:54 pm 17 May 16

Its a 2 billion dollar bet on the same transport needs will exist into the future.

Oh well. They’ve sealed their deal we’ll have a Liberal government next year!

justin heywood 7:49 pm 17 May 16

Someone (unspecified) says

“The ACT Government would be making a capital contribution of $375m towards the project in 2018-19. This $375m is funded from the sale of assets – such as ACTTAB, ageing public housing and ACT Government office accommodation…”

This ‘fully funded’ concept has always intrigued me. In its last budget the ACT deficit was $407 million. That means they spent $407 million more than they received.

Under a deficit of this magnitude, any sales of assets such as public housing stock is not some windfall that they can splurge in whimsical fashion as if there are no other calls on those funds.
It beats me why anyone swallows this nonsense, especially the supposedly cynical media.

I know that sections of the Green left think that a government can’t go broke – and perhaps they’re right.
But someone DOES have to pay for all this, whether it’s poor people being unable to access public housing in the future, or the next government having to run down infrastructure because of huge debts, etc.

But by this time, Barr, Rattenbury and the tram carpetbaggers and boosters will have moved on.

justin heywood 7:05 pm 17 May 16

OP says
“A Can the Tram spokesman said they learnt of the event via a media report but none of the gathered media had reported the venue for the announcement.”

and then

“A spokesman for the Canberra Liberals denied alerting the organization to the event.”

Classic ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’ type journalism.

Was the venue a secret? Do you usually investigate where protestors get their information from? Does it matter anyway? Could your hint (‘the Canberra Liberals deny….. ‘) be any more obvious?

Reportage on this RiotACT lately has been pretty good – mostly just a straight factual report or an obvious op-ed.

This reads like an ALP press release.

Leon 5:50 pm 17 May 16

Based on the newly announced contract costs, I estimate that each dollar invested in Capital Metro will return only 93 cents worth of benefits.

Evilomlap 4:04 pm 17 May 16

Bold and visionary? Come on, Corbs, it’s a tram.

The giant catapult idea someone posted on this site a few years back (I can’t find the article/comment)… now, THAT was visionary. It proposed to single-handedly eliminate the public transport problem in Canberra by slingshotting people home from work into giant nets erected in outlying suburbs. I still laugh when I think about it.

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