Lord Mayors Light Rail Summit April 2016

Why is this important

The summit (see invitation below) showed how suburban light rail projects may be financed, what improvements in urban life might arise, and some of the practicalities involved in doing so. It covered how councils and the State Government could use rates and other revenue to finance both the new tram projects themselves and then go on to pay for other amenities.

The data and breadth of experience displayed by the experts was comprehensive, eminently practical and adaptable to Adelaide. In the material that follows, key terms to look out for are “city building” and “value capture”.

Both terms intimately relate to the body of work that is Transit Oriented Development, regarding which PPT has various papers on our website.

The meeting was attended by several inner city mayors, some of their councillors, the Minister for Transport (in part) and was addressed by persons with high level expertise. Significantly, the Minister and mayors retired to a separate meeting immediately after the summit. It seemed that the discussion would cover how councils would use the $4 million in funds announced by the State Government for a detailed study of proposed AdeLink tram routes, and by extension how to achieve “value capture” from these routes.

As these notes were being written, the proposed extension of the Tonsley Rail-line to Flinders Medical Centre was announced (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-13/funding-pledge-for-train-between-adelaide-to-flinders-university/7410668 ). Notably, the proposal states that some $800m of investment and 2,000 jobs may result for Commonwealth/State expenditure of about $85m – some substantial “value capture” potential right there!

What was said

In addition to the Minister and the Lord Mayor, the meeting was addressed by four experts. See below for how to access the full notes and videos of the sessions. We urge you to take the time to look at these videos.

Our notes provide a brief summary of what was said, and how PPT attendees view the information. Arguably, the most important speakers were Darrin Grimsey and Joe Langley with their data on financing and value capture.

Speaker 1 – Bridget Smyth, City of Sydney

Speaker 2 – Alton Twine, City of Gold Coast

Speaker 3 – Darrin Grimsey, Ernst & Young

Speaker 4 – Joe Langley, AECOM Consultants

When asked by PPT after the session, Joe confirmed that value capture underlies financing of Transit Oriented Development.

We note that revenue from value capture can be used to fund other worthwhile projects e.g. the affordable housing components of new residential developments, provided government has a clear focus on social objectives as well.

Notes and Video

The Adelaide City Council has provided both written notes and videos relating to the summit.

Use the links below to see the notes for all four consultant speakers, as well as YouTube videos for three of them. Also on YouTube are the speeches by the Lord Mayor, Martin Haese and Stephen Mullighan, Minister for Transport.


Bridget Smyth

Notes: http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/assets/documents/00Adl_Light_Rail_Summit_-_Speaker_Summary_-Bridget_Smyth-_City_of_Sydney.pdf

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTFDHET0x8Q

Also:    www.sydneylightrail.com

Alton Twine


Darrin Grimsey


YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcl3MsB2gvk

Joe Langley


YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMx5TRqaCkk

Also:    http://www.aecom.com/au/valuecaptureroadmap/

 Martin Haese

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8GZT0qCnnI

Stephen Mullighan

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gCx2_JJwzk

Q&A and panel discussion following the presentations

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gCx2_JJwzk