Canberra Liberals on the wrong side of light rail debate

[ A+ ] /[ A- ]

Canberra Liberals on the wrong side of light rail debate April 19, 2015 Brendan Lyon

Of the all the words fired in the Capital Metro debate, just two – “sovereign risk” – are earning the ACT a global profile, for all the wrong reasons.

Debating the merit, value and benefit of light rail and any other major project is healthy. Good opposition parties hold government accountable for their use of public money – and drive better policy and decision-making as a result.

But the Canberra Liberals have ended up on the wrong side of the light rail debate, because they have let their opposition to the project morph quickly into active support for sovereign risk.

Sovereign risk is a complex way of saying that a contract with government is not worth the paper it’s written on. It’s the risk that governments use their power to void their obligations; it’s exactly the kind of reputation that the territory doesn’t want or need.