Though it is still years away from being completed, the Australian Capital Territory’s Light Rail Project will bring the ACT public transport system into the future.
The shortlisted developers vying against one another to take the helm of this massive sustainability rail project are two international consortias: ACTivate Group and the Canberra Metro Group. These two behemoths also own: Mitsubishi, Downer EDI, DB international, Keolis and more.
According to the Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, both these developers are up to the task of bringing a world-class public transport, rail infrastructure to Canberra. "The ACTivate and Canberra Metro consortia include globally recognised names experienced in civil construction, in railway operations, in service delivery for urban rail services. This bodes very well for the successful delivery of the Capital Metro project."
As a condition of allowing the mass privatisation of government owned assets through surplus selling off (the only Australian state to have signed off on the selling of public owned assets) the ACT can claim a 15% bonus on infrastructure spending.
Due to a new deal whipped up by Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and Chief Minister Andrew Barr, the ACT stands to benefit from $400 million in funding for the light rail thanks to asset sales, and another $60 million in funding from the Commonwealth.
The proposed rail routes are still in discussion with suggestions for lines running from Gungahlin to the City and the City to Russel Extension. The government estimates if the Russel extension goes ahead it would increase public transport usage by 30%.
Mr Corbell urges the public and the Opposition Party to see what potential for job growth such a transport development will unleash.
"These consortia will not just be constructing light rail in Canberra, they will also be providing the rolling stock and providing the operations for an approximate 20-year term. These are big companies, big banks and big organisations wanting to invest in our city, create construction jobs and deliver us a light rail service that we need for future growth and development."
The professional services and audit firm, Ernst and Young estimate this project will create 3560 jobs over its three year construction time frame.