The expected cost and benefit of Canberra’s USD 800 million light rail project is “as good as it gets”, according to two prominent transport academics.
The former head of the South Australian Transport Authority and now Professor at the University of South Australia, Derek Scrafton, believes the ACT Government has done a decent job in arguing for the project, but maintains the real test of their claims is yet to come.
Professor Scrafton and a colleague at the university were commissioned to independently scrutinise the Government’s business case for light rail.
In their report of October 2014, which has not been publicly released until now, Professor Scrafton describes the Capital Metro business case as highly professional.
“We didn’t have to have a view about the tram one way or another, we just had to comment on the business case itself. My view was it was fit for purpose. That it would do exactly what [the ACT Government] wanted it to do,” Scrafton said.
Though he said just how accurate the Government’s projected cost-benefit return of USD 1.20 for every USD 1 invested was wouldn’t be known until the two selected consortia chosen to bid for the project return their proposals.
Minister for Capital Metro Simon Corbell said Proffessor Scrafton’s review reaffirmed his confidence in the Government’s decision to proceed with light rail.
“Professor Scrafton’s review confirms that the methodology used in the business case is sound and that the document overall contains sufficient details and makes realistic conclusions and recommendations,” Minister Corbell said.