I wish I could predict house prices as well as I could predict fights about who pays for Infrastructure

I wish I could predict house prices as well as I could predict fights about who pays for Infrastructure

Twelve months ago I thought we would see the emergence of Value Capture from the shadows of infrastructure funding models, based on a “lively” conversation I had with Malcolm and Barnaby when they visited central Queensland in April 2016. Nowadays you can’t pick up a paper without getting a lesson on beneficiary pays versus user pays.

I am really enjoying the current Cross River Rail debate - whilst the majority is political posturing, there is still some worthy arguments coming from both sides.

My previous topic was Rookwood Weir where the Feds are all in and on board based on advice from Infrastructure Australia, while the State is nervous nellies putting the project through the Building Queensland grinder. Funding and Value Capture options are in abundance and all levels of Government are spoilt for choice in terms of how to recover their investment.

Then we move to a tunnel under the river (with a price tag 20 times larger) and remarkably the roles are reversed - the State is all in with a 2000 page business plan, while the Feds want Infrastructure Australia to run the ruler over it again.

Understanding Value Capture as it applies to a rail tunnel is a bit harder than working out who benefits from having plenty of water available to run their business.

Some of the Value Capture measures proposed include a “tax” on land which will increase in value being close to a transport node, payment for a major carpark facility beside the rail - hang on, is a carpark a “Value Capture” or another form of “User Pays”?

What do you think?

It will be interesting to see where this goes next. Looks like Thelma and Louise didn’t drive over a cliff, they are still having fun hell-raising across Queensland.

Can’t wait for episode 3.

Keen to hear your views graham.scott@calibreconsulting.co

Graham Scott
Manager, Rockhampton 

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