About $60 million in federal government bonuses for "asset recycling" by the ACT government will flow, despite legislation establishing the scheme being blocked by the Senate.
Treasurer Joe Hockey and Chief Minister Andrew Barr were in lock-step on Friday, confident the territory would receive the 15 per cent bonus payments for the sale of a swathe of public housing properties, government offices and betting agency ACTTAB.
The money will go exclusively to the ACT government's $783 million light rail construction bill.
A spokeswoman for Mr Hockey said despite the delay the money was guaranteed after funding was included in the budget appropriation bills which have passed the Parliament.
Legislation establishing the $5 billion national infrastructure fund is blocked and a Senate inquiry considering the privatisation of state and territory assets and infrastructure spending is due to report on March 20.
"The Asset Recycling Fund Bill 2014 is currently sitting before the house after the Senate insisted on amendments," Mr Hockey's spokeswoman said.
Asset sales were a key issue in Queensland's January election and the New South Wales government will campaign on a $20 billion infrastructure package ahead of the state's March 28 poll.
About $2 billion will go to NSW from the scheme, signed off by state and territory leaders last year. Mr Hockey said on Thursday no uncertainty about the funding existed despite the Senate delay.
"Unless they are going to block supply, then it happens," Mr Hockey said.
Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, chair of the inquiry, has called the fund a "bribe" and called for needs-based funding to the states and territories. Newly independent senator Jacqui Lambie also opposes its establishment.
Chair of the ACT Light Rail advocacy group Damien Haas praised the agreement's contribution to the 12-kilometre tram line.
"The ACT government has managed to achieve what no other state or territory government has been able to do – prise federal money out of the Abbot government to spend on public transport infrastructure," he said.
"It is a highly unusual move. The current federal Liberal government have gone out of their way to state repeatedly that they will not spend any money on state public transport, yet are happy to spend it on roads."
Mr Haas said the Canberra Liberals risked "wedging themselves with their increasingly belligerent anti-light rail rhetoric".
Announcing the deal, Mr Hockey said the tram line was the only infrastructure project proposed by the ACT government.
He acknowledged the project was "controversial" but said it met the conditions of the scheme.
The territory has begun considering how to manage the public housing sales, including moving thousands of tenants, to prevent social dislocation and inconvenience for public housing communities.
Property Council of Australia ACT director Catherine Carter said the industry had applauded the bipartisan agreement between the territory and Commonwealth.
"This is an exceptionally positive outcome for Canberra ... this investment is timely, as it will enable essential new infrastructure to be built.
"Freeing up scarce government capital is important for all governments at the moment, especially in the ACT," Ms Carter said.
She welcomed prudent asset recycling as a mechanism for funding new public infrastructure in Canberra.
"It's also timely given the focus on the need for urban renewal in the territory. What's more, this asset sale will provide the private sector with the opportunity to create exciting new precincts that better meet the needs of Canberrans in the 21st century."