LABOR LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO GET TO BOTTOM OF ONE BILLION DOLLAR LIGHT RAIL SCANDAL

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The Labor Opposition is accusing Premier Berejiklian of misleading taxpayers on the real reasons behind the billion dollar blowout in building and running Sydney's inner-city light rail.

The Labor Opposition is accusing Premier Berejiklian of misleading taxpayers on the real reasons behind the billion dollar blowout in building and running Sydney's inner-city light rail.

On the eve of the first session of NSW Parliament this year, Labor Leader Luke Foley said his team will pursue the matter in Parliament, regardless of how long it takes.  It was her mismanagement and incompetence that led to the blowouts on what is the Premier’s pet project.

The NSW Auditor General has found that 94 per cent of the $549 million blowout to the building costs of the CBD and Southeast Light Rail project was down to “mispricing and omissions in the business case”.

The same report also found the annual operating costs had increased from $34.9 million to $62.5 million – meaning that over the life of 15-year contract taxpayers would be paying $414 million more than budgeted.

Yet despite transport bureaucrats reporting the cost of the blowout way back in October 2014, Ms Berejiklian in her role as Transport Minister continued to mislead people about the reasons. It took her two months to think of an excuse – and eventually claimed the cost had increased from $1.6 billion to $2.1 billion because of "customer improvements to the original scope" such as longer trams and stops.

When it comes to taxpayer’s money – that is not good enough. This is a project that has been characterised by waste, incompetence, and deceit at every turn.

Today Labor Leader Luke Foley – joined by Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park, Shadow Planning and Infrastructure Minister Michael Daley, and Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay -  demanded  the Premier:

  • Explain why her Government has failed to comply with the Auditor General’s request for an update in the design and costings;
  • Release the updated costings immediately;
  • Come clean with the NSW public on the real reasons why she misled the public;
  • Make a full apology.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

“We’ll pursue this shonky government with every means at our disposal over this mystery billion dollar blowout. They’re desperate to keep it quiet to protect the Premier’s reputation.”

“They’d rather sweep this astonishing bungle under the carpet. Labor will eventually get to the bottom of it. We will eventually find out who knew what and when.

“This is a project characterised by waste, incompetence, and deceit at every turn.”