BUDGET REPLY:LABOR WILL STOP THE WASTE AND SECRECY ON MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

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A Foley Labor government will end the mismanagement, incompetence and waste that have been the hallmarks of the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s major infrastructure projects.

In his Budget Reply speech Labor Leader Luke Foley announced a four-point plan to end the blowouts and secrecy that have underscored projects like the WestConnex toll road and the Sydney light rail.

Mr Foley said it was time to draw a line in the sand after the WestConnex road has blown out to more than $17 billion and the Premier’s very own project, the Sydney light rail, which is set to double in cost to $3 billion and which might never been finished.

Mr Foley outlined Labor’s four-point plan to combat the mismanagement, incompetence and waste.

Firstly, a Foley Labor government will hold a judicial inquiry into both these projects to establish exactly how they have gone so wrong and provide full public accountability.

Secondly, a Labor government will pledge to never use secretive vehicles like the Sydney Motorway Corporation (the front company for the State Government that is delivering WestConnex) which was established specifically to dodge freedom of information laws.

Thirdly, no construction contracts will ever be signed before planning approvals have been received, as has been the case with the Sydney light rail, the M4 East and the new M5.

And lastly, a Labor government will legislate to require Infrastructure NSW to provide annual ‘health checks’ on the progress of major projects and publish their findings.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Frontline health, education, and public transport services are missing out because billions of dollars are being squandered in blowouts and delays to the Sydney Light Rail and WestConnex projects.

“When billions of dollars of public money are being spent the public has a right to know what is going on.

“At the moment the public – the very people footing the bill – are being kept in the dark by a government that is addicted to secrecy.

“The Liberal-National State Government has deliberately set out to avoid scrutiny. This has to come to an end and under Labor it will.

“Good government is open and transparent government that follows a process; it is not shonky front companies that are set up to deliberately hide the truth from the taxpaying public.”