Peter Newman discusses light rail funding issues in The Conversation (8.10.15):
‘Cities now need to make a strong case for their light rail projects, based on the benefits of urban regeneration as well saving commuters time. The best way to do this is to attract private funding as well as taxpayers’ money, by bringing private investors on board with the financing, who then earn a return on the increased land values generated by rail development. This is called “land value capture” and still has not been done in Australia, although it’s common in the United States and Asia.
‘In fact, one could argue that the federal government should only release Commonwealth funding if these funds are multiplied many times over by the private sector. So cities could begin by calling for expressions of interest from private companies to design, build, finance, own and operate the light rail link and, crucially, make sure this includes land-development options (rather than letting in outside developers to gain windfall profits instead of directing the money into paying for the light rail).’