Taxpayers hit an extra $2.4 billion PPP for Transmission Gully

Building Transmission Gully as a public private partnership (PPP) will triple the cost to the taxpayer - to $3.4 billion - according to documents released under the OIA.

Labour’s transport spokesperson, Phil Twyford, said the use of a PPP would cost an arm and a leg, but the potential benefits were hugely uncertain.

”The only reason the Government wants to do it is that they have blown the budget on their mega motorway projects.

“A PPP for Transmission Gully is a way of building now and paying later, and Government accounting rules mean the liability won’t affect its debt reduction targets. It’s smoke and mirrors.

“Cabinet papers show that having Transmission Gully as a PPP will cost an extra 3 per cent of National Land Transport revenue – or $125 million – every year for 25 years.

“Transport officials confirmed the cost would triple but were unable to cite explicit evidence that handing the project over to the private sector to design and build would offer any specific benefits when they appeared before Parliament’s transport committee today.

“In fact the history of PPPs in big transport projects is littered with financial disasters, with four big projects in Australia falling over in recent years.

“The PPP for Transmission Gully is just one of the ways the Government is desperately trying to fund its out of control motorway building programme. It is already spending $1 billion a year on new motorways, some of which are very low value by the Government’s own figures.

“In order to build more motorways faster the Government is changing the law to allow borrowing for motorways, and is bringing in a petrol tax rise that will net more than $6 billion over the next 10 years – as well as the Transmission Gully PPP.

“This Government’s appetite for motorway projects of dubious economic value is insatiable. To keep on feeding the beast it is willing to gouge the motorist and  mortgage future generations.”