ACT News


ACT government seeks federal "city deals" funding for light rail, Parkes Way

Chief Minister Andrew Barr will seek federal funding for the Woden light rail link when he meets Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday.

Mr Turnbull meets Mr Barr alongside mayors from capital cities around the country, who are pitching their projects under the federal government's new "city deals" program. Meetings follow on Thursday with federal ministers.

Mr Barr said he would put a number of projects to Mr Turnbull for City Deal funding but his big priority was funding for stage 2 of the tramline, which is to cross the lake and head south to Woden, through the parliamentary triangle.

"The uplift value in Commonwealth properties along the route could be seen as a direct benefit to the federal government through investment in the project, as well as supporting rail-based public transport upgrades," Mr Barr said.

He will also push for funding for some of the ACT's road projects, for roads around the CSIRO's housing development at Ginninderra, and for the lowering of Parkes Way and other parts of the City to the Lake project.

"The ACT Government has a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects that, with federal government support, will stimulate our economy," he said.


"Canberra is growing by 5000 people a year, and it's important that we continue to invest in the right infrastructure projects to ensure our city remains the world's most liveable city."

Mr Barr is counting on Mr Turnbull's interest in public transport, an interest that played against the Liberals during the election campaign when Mr Turnbull appeared at the launch of the ACT Liberals' campaign. Mr Turnbull failed to mention the light rail project in his speech, despite the Liberals' opposition to the project being a central plank of their election hopes.

The federal government's first City Deal was with Townsville, where it has agreed to invest $100 million investment in a new stadium and $150 million in a rail project.

It has also signed a deal with Launceston, with $130 million for relocating Launceston's University of Tasmania campus, $7.5 million for the city, and $2 million for a National Institute for Forest Products Innovation Hub.

In Western Sydney, a deal promises federal support for public transport, housing affordability and job opportunities.

The federal government's City Deal policy is broad, offering help to develop economic hubs and transport infrastructure, planning changes to encourage higher density development, affordable housing and activate "value capture", investment in the environment, including "active transport", better buildings and reduced pollution, and repurposing government land.