THE Capital Metro light rail project will support more than 3,500 direct and indirect jobs during construction and many more into the future, according to a report by Ernst and Young that was released by the ACT Government last week.
The Capital Metro Job Creation Analysis report describes the benefits of the 12-kilometre light rail project between Canberra's central business district and Gungahlin in the north by modelling the most likely type, number and timing of jobs supported by the construction and operation of the project, as well as through the development of land adjacent to the project corridor.
Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, said the jobs created by the light rail project will provide an immediate boost to the ACT as well as continuing to support the economy well into the future.
"We now have a good indication of the total number of jobs that will be supported by the Capital Metro light rail project and it is a big boost for the ACT," Mr Corbell said.
"Light rail is well known for its ability to stimulate economies and support significant job numbers both during construction and operation.
"In a time when many jobs will be lost in the ACT, it is great to see the positive economic injection that Capital Metro will have to the ACT economy in the short and long term," Mr Corbell said, in reference to the Federal Government's plan to reduce the size of the public service by around 16,000.
"This benefit coupled with the increased commercial activity that typically occurs around light rail mean that Capital Metro is poised to deliver a significant boost to the ACT economy," the Minister said.
"Predictably employment requirements for building the light rail are mostly made up of construction and engineering. Some of the highest demand will likely be bricklayers, carpenters, joiners and labourers. But it does not stop there as it is always the case that there will be flow on effects in to areas such as hospitality, retail and other services."
The report shows that light rail along the city to Gungahlin corridor will deliver additional floor space to accommodate around 26,000 jobs along the corridor, and support a total of 50,000 jobs when allowing for flow-on jobs from industry and consumption effects.
"However, the majority of the jobs accommodated along the corridor will not be new to ACT. Rather, they will locate in the corridor instead of somewhere else within the territory," the report states.
Mr Corbell said the Capital Metro Agency will be engaging with local industry to help connect local talent with opportunities that the project provides. He added that while there will always be an element of national or international expertise used, the government is very interested in the elements of the project that can be delivered locally through a partnership with a lead contractor.
"Light Rail will deliver so much more than a transport benefit for Canberra and this is why the ACT Government have been so intent on Canberra planning for the future and delivering city-changing infrastructure," Mr Corbell said.