24 July 2012

Doncaster rail could cost less than Myki!

A study commissioned by a number of Melbourne councils has found that the Doncaster rail line could be built for $840 million - substantially less than the $1.5 billion cost-to-date of the troubled Myki card.

The study, reported in The Age, said the Doncaster railway line 'could be built for $840m' and carry up to 100,000 passengers each day if linked to the proposed Melbourne Metro.

Although the final cost has not been revealed, estimates of the cost of an East West Road tunnel range up to $13 billion.

The Doncaster study, jointly written by transport experts from Curtin University in Western Australia, Melbourne's RMIT University, and global engineering firm Arup, is the next instalment is a growing debate about the cost and funding of infrastructure.

The ''funding possibilities'' the authors propose are based on a US model called tax increment financing, whereby higher property values boost stamp duty, land tax and local government revenues and help pay for infrastructure projects.

The Property Council of Victoria recently published a detailed report calling for a clear infrastructure funding pipeline in Victoria. Securing Victorias Future A Program to Plan Fund and Deliver Infrastructure compares the economic merits of the road tunnel vs Melbourne Metro rail project (see page 60). 

Infrastructure Australia also released an updated list of priority projects. Metro One is Victoria's largest ready to proceed project.  

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