“Second, the project is to be funded by a special land levy, charged on those properties that were judged by planners to receive an uplift in value from the installation of light rail. This quickly drew criticism from the Property Council of Australia who labelled it as yet another tax on an already strained sector.
Adding the final insult to injury, even before the first sod had been turned (due in 2016), the project is already expected to see costs blow out significantly, as engineers will have to reposition underground wires and pipes along the route. This comes as ACT battles to rein in A$100m budget shortfall (without the cost impact of light rail).
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All in all, there are numerous warning signs suggesting Canberra’s light rail vision is going to end in taxpayer tears.”