BEREJIKLIAN CABINET LEAK: WESTCONNEX BILLION DOLLAR SHOCK

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In an unprecedented Cabinet leak, secret documents reveal that the Berejiklian Government is facing a $1 billion compensation claim from companies that are building the controversial WestConnex toll road. 

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley says the explosive documents reveal that unforeseen planning conditions, planning approval delays and site contaminations have sparked claims totalling a staggering $1.05 billion.

Mr Foley says the information is contained in a report marked “Cabinet In Confidence” that has been given to the Opposition. The report covers the progress of major transport infrastructure projects and contains information the government has refused to make public.  It is the most recent quarterly report and covers the period January to March 2017.  

The leak reveals that Transport for NSW says it will negotiate the final compensation payments but admits even in the best case scenario it will have to fork out claims in the range of $180 million to $340 million.

Mr Foley says the revelation raises serious questions about the government’s delivery of the already blown out $17 billion WestConnex project. 

Document extract 1:

 

Mr Foley said it was significant that the government’s own department lists the reasons for claims as factors that are in the state government’s control – for example planning approval delays and changed planning conditions.

As the cost of WestConnex continues to balloon, the leaked documents also confirm that the M4 widening project will not be delivered on time or on budget. It is at least $20 million over budget and six months late. 

The Government’s claim that the completion date was always due in mid-2017 has been rubbished after the baseline completion date for the M4 Widening was revealed to be February 2017 (see extract below).

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“These documents show that the government is responsible for compensation claims. They have previously tried to put the blame on contractors mismanaging projects.

“The WestConnex project has been shrouded in secrecy and no wonder - this document paints a worrying picture of the Berejiklian Government’s project mismanagement.

“That is money that could have been spent on more than 50 new primary schools or more than 20 new high schools; instead it might go towards cleaning up the Berejiklian Government’s stuff-ups.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Minster for Planning and Infrastructure Michael Daley

This is further evidence of the Berejiklian’s Government’s haphazard planning which has led to several major projects like the WestConnex and the Sydney Light Rail blowing out by billions of dollars and becoming a debacle.

“The people of NSW deserve better than to see public money wasted because of the Government’s mismanagement.” 

Document extract 2: