Value capture ‘a fairer way to pay for faster inter-city rail’

A Federal Parliamentary committee inquiring into options for financing faster rail between major capital cities has suggested all three levels of government focus on value-capture mechanisms. 

Chairman of the House of Representatives Infrastructure, Transport and Cities Committee John Alexander tabled the faster rail financing options report this week.

“Before Covid-19, this committee saw funding faster rail using value capture as an opportunity,” Mr Alexander said. “Today, it’s an imperative.”

“We find ourselves at a crossroads. On one side is more debt, ad-hoc infrastructure, and a limping recovery. On the other side is dynamic growth, sustainable infrastructure, and opportunity.

“The conclusion is obvious, that the Federal Government – working with state, territory and local governments – should secure land valuations before announcements, and develop an infrastructure levy mechanism that is just, equitable and fair to sustainably fund infrastructure 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 Fairer Funding and Financing of Faster Rail report makes three recommendations which focus on value capture and value sharing, addressing the missed opportunities where property values rise dramatically because of taxpayer funded rail infrastructure.