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Australia : New report shows economy-growing power of public transport infrastructure.

Public transport infrastructure projects have the ability to deliver extra jobs and increased economic activity, according to an independent report released yesterday.

Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, said the report commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum and prepared by PwC supports the argument in the Capital Metro stage one business case that showed light rail would increase economic activity and create jobs.

"I welcome this report that reaffirms that public transport infrastructure has a very positive economic impact," Mr Corbell said.

"We have always said that one of the many benefits of light rail is that it can have a transformative effect and this report shows the power that rail has in boosting the local economy at a time when it needs it most.

"Infrastructure development is proven to stimulate the economy and provide a catalyst for more jobs, investment, improved community facilities and more productive and healthy lifestyles. For Canberra, stage one of the Capital Metro project will support more than 3,500 jobs during construction, and when combined with associated development employment opportunities, the project will have supported approximately 50,000 jobs by 2047."

The TTF report shows that since the start of operation from Epping to Chatswood in 2009, heavy rail has accelerated economic and jobs growth and delivered higher levels of productivity.

The report found that the Macquarie Park economy had grown by an additional 1.56% to 2.44% per annum, bucking the trend of lower economic growth in the wake of the GFC. It also showed that jobs growth in Macquarie Park was an extra 2.19% to 2.65% per annum.

The analysis also demonstrated that the improved access to labour markets provided by the rail line delivered a greater return on capital investment and higher business profitability, with productivity in Macquarie Park growing significantly faster than elsewhere in Sydney and NSW.

"Capital Metro stage one will deliver nearly a billion dollars in benefits to the Canberra community and sets the foundation for a world-class public transport system that will drive economic benefits for the ACT," Mr Corbell said.

The business case for Capital Metro stage one, prepared with input from internationally renowned economics firm EY, showed the project has a positive benefit cost ratio of 1.2.

Economic benefits associated with rail projects have been evidenced in both heavy and light rail infrastructure.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 19, 2014
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