The Canberra Light Rail project is being delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP)

A PPP is a long-term business relationship between the government and the private sector to provide public infrastructure.

Under this type of contract, the private sector has responsibility for delivery of the infrastructure and is financially rewarded based on performance.

Canberra’s Light Rail PPP is between the ACT Government and the Canberra Metro consortium. The PPP for Stage 1 of the network is for approximately 23 years and includes the construction and operation of stage one of the light rail network for 20 years. At the end of the contract term, the ACT Government will assume ownership of the light rail network assets.

Over the term of the contract, the ACT Government will pay Canberra Metro for the costs of construction and components of the operational costs, similar to the way the Government pays for new buses and for the operation and maintenance of Canberra’s bus network.

The difference with a PPP is that the ACT Government does not pay these costs upfront and the cost of constructing the light rail is spread over the 20 years of operations.
As a result, the Canberra Metro consortium (not the government) is responsible for all aspects of the delivery.