The signing of contracts for the next stage of Canberra's light rail project has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hold-up in finalising the contracts with Canberra Metro means light rail may well again become a central debate for the 2020 election.
The contracts for the City to Woden route were due to be signed in the middle of this year, but the government has now revealed they may not be signed before the October election.
The debate over light rail stage one dominated the 2016 territory election campaign, with the Liberals pledging to tear up contracts if they won government.
This time around, the Canberra Liberals have called for more scrutiny of the project.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Candice Burch did not directly answer if the Liberals would commit to light rail stage two.
However, she said a Liberal government would honour any contracts signed before the election.
She added that the project had been lacking in transparency, with Canberrans in the dark about the true cost-benefit situation.
"The Barr government continues to refuse to release costings, a business case, or analysis of different route options," she said.
"Now more than ever, we need projects that will create jobs and investment and therefore it's incumbent on the government to release detailed analysis so that Canberrans may make an informed decision about the merits of this project.
"Before committing to the project, it is reasonable that ACT taxpayers see the business case for such a significant project."
The coronavirus crisis has prompted questions about whether the government will be able to afford to proceed with the project on its current timeline, both due to budget constraints and the availability of contractors.
But the government insists the project's construction is still due to proceed as planned in the first half of 2021.
"The ACT government is working closely with Canberra Metro to progress contract negotiations, however the ongoing uncertainty around COVID-19 continues to impact contract time frames," Transport Minister Chris Steel said.
"This process won't be rushed due to the upcoming election.
"We need to ensure that the territory gets value for money, as we did for stage one."
Mr Steel said the light rail had not been pushed down the priority line due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the budget.
He said the government was in a position financially to proceed with the project, however COVID-19 had created uncertainty in the infrastructure sector internationally.
"The ACT government is carefully considering how to proceed with construction to ensure a steady pipeline of work in this current climate," Mr Steel said.
"However we are completely committed to bringing light rail to Woden and only a Labor government can be trusted to build light rail to Woden."
Mr Steel said while contract negotiations had been delayed due to COVID-19, the government still expects work to begin "as early as next financial year".
The government is yet to release detailed costings of the project from Alinga Street to Woden.
It released a business case last year on light rail stage 2A - from Alinga Street to Commonwealth Park - but key financial details were redacted.
The government says light rail stage 2A is estimated to return just 60 cents for every dollar spent on the project.
However it says once all of stage two is completed to Woden, the return for the whole stage will increase to $1.20 return on every dollar spent.