Wednesday, 9 December 2020
A new parliamentary report highlights the importance of faster rail investment in Australia’s economic recovery and proposes a fairer and more sustainable funding approach.
Mr John Alexander OAM MP, Chair of the House of Representatives Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Committee, today tabled the report for the committee’s inquiry into options for financing faster rail.
‘Before COVID-19, this committee saw funding faster rail using value capture as an opportunity. Today, it’s an imperative.’
Value capture is a means by which governments can more fairly fund part, or all, of the costs of rail infrastructure projects and provide relief for taxpayers now and in the future.
‘When government funded infrastructure is clearly linked to significant property value uplifts, or rezoning, governments have a duty to taxpayers to secure just, equitable and fair portions of these increases in property values,’ Mr Alexander said.
The report makes three recommendations which focus on value capture and value sharing, addressing the missed opportunities where property values rise dramatically as a result of taxpayer funded rail infrastructure.
‘During the inquiry the committee considered the issue of fairness: Is it fair for the taxpayer to fund infrastructure that creates great wealth for landowners, speculators and developers? Should the taxpayer receive a return when their money is invested? Is it fair that we leave future generations to pay for our spending today?’ Mr Alexander said.
The report builds on the committee’s work in the 45th Parliament. In two previousreports, the committee recommended a value capture model be designed and utilised in Australia, with the Australian Government, state and territory, and locals governments working together in a coordinated approach to value capture.’