The ACT government and the Canberra Metro consortium confirmed on Tuesday that financing arrangements for the capital’s light rail project had been finalised.
The Capital Metro minister Simon Corbell said achieving financial close meant the term of the contract had begun.
“Canberra Metro will work closely with the ACT government in the lead-up to the start of construction activities in the coming weeks, with services scheduled to commence in early 2019, almost a year earlier than originally expected,” Corbell said.
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“With financial close now having been achieved, I can confirm that the capital delivery cost of the project is $707 million. A territory contribution will be made at the beginning of operations, along with annual availability payments.
Planning and construction
“Availability payments will be approximately $47m in the first 12 months of operations and approximately $75m for the last 12 months of the contract term in 2038. The average annual availability payment will be approximately $64m.”
Corbell said the focus would now be on planning and construction, ensuring the community was kept up to date with the project developments, including the location and timeframes of construction works along the corridor.
He reiterated the project would provide an improved public transport network for Canberrans, along with a significant economic boost, supporting thousands of jobs.
“The benefits of an integrated public transport system for our community are substantial. It will support social inclusion, drive economic development, maintain liveability and help to reduce congestion.
“Transport Canberra will ensure that buses and light rail are integrated along with other forms of transport including cycling and walking. It will also encourage innovative approaches to driving, parking and traffic management.”