PREMIER’S “PET LIGHT RAIL PROJECT” NOW MORE THAN ONE AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS OVER BUDGET
NSW Labor says it’s time for the government to come clean on infrastructure costs, after a report from the NSW Auditor General revealed the Sydney Light Rail project has blown out to $3.15 billion.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said: “After years of cover ups from Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance, we have finally learned that the cost of the Premier’s pet project has more than doubled to $3.15 billion dollars.”
The project was originally costed at $1.6 billion. Today’s report confirms the addition of $250 million to the so-called ‘final cost’ of the project announced by Transport Minister Andrew Constance in November 2019.
The Auditor General’s report confirms the Government omitted costs of $153.84 million for early enabling works, the small business assistance package and financing costs attributable to project delays.
These costs were hidden by the Berejiklian Government and will bring the current estimated total cost of the project to $3.15 billion.
The report also revealed that Mr Constance tried to conceal the total cost of the project by deliberately rounding the cost of the project down to $2.9 billion.
“The Premier and Transport Minister have been shown to have been loose with the truth for years. The Premier deliberately mislead the public in 2014 when she blamed the increased cost of the project on so called consumer improvements.
“The Berejiklian Government has stood by and watched as project after project blew out by billions of dollars. This is public money that could have been used to save jobs across our communities during this recession.”
Shadow Minister for Transport Chris Minns said: “The people of NSW have been left with a $3.15 billion dollar ghost train thanks to Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance.”
“The Government’s business case for the whole project is in tatters. The government originally believed buses could be cut as part of the project, however run times are so slow that people are getting back on their local buses to avoid the light rail.”
“Even though the Government splurged $3.15 billion on this project, it doesn’t even run on time. They previously said you’d be able to get from Randwick to the CBD in 35 minutes, then it was 37, and now when everyone is locked down and there are no cars on the road its almost 41 minutes. You can bet that it’ll be even slower as restrictions are eased.”