LIBERAL GOVERNMENT IGNORED EXPERT ADVICE ON LIGHT RAIL - CONTINUED WITH PREMIER’S PET PROJECT DESPITE MAJOR ISSUES RAISED

-->

Leaked documents from Transport for NSW - prepared by a crack team of bureaucrats and experts - identified serious issues with the Sydney Light Rail project more than two and a half years ago.

NSW Labor was refused access to the documents – entitled ‘Lessons Learned’ - under freedom of information laws but it has fallen to a brave whistleblower to expose how the Berejiklian Government was told of the problems but pressed ahead regardless.

It warns of traffic congestion, the project’s high cost and the shoddy way in which the community and businesses have been treated by the Liberal Government.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

 

 

 

The Sydney Light Rail project cost has already blown out by half a billion dollars to $2.1 billion and is now mired in a $1.3 billion law suit between the state government and the contractors, casting doubt on whether it will ever be up and running.

Crucially, the high-level Urban Domain Reference Group - which was convened by Transport for NSW - delivered its report nine months ahead of a damning report by the state’s auditor-general which concluded that Ms Berejiklian’s pet project “did not effectively plan and procure the CBD and South East Light Rail project to achieve best value for money.”

One section stated that “visions were promoted before understanding the real constraints of the project- the underground utilities and drainage. The project is then blamed or delayed when it cannot deliver the unrealistic expectations.”

Another said: “The project is incurring high prices and design delays as the inevitable detailed design changes (the unknown unknowns) go through onerous contract modifications process.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

The Premier knew this was a dud of a project but she ignored expert advice, and deliberately misled the public.

At every step Ms Berejiklian and her Transport Minister were warned against reintroducing light rail into the city and today taxpayers are having to foot the bill for their arrogance and incompetence.

“Ms Berejiklian got us into this mess but she doesn’t have a plan to get us out. She isn’t able to say when, or even if, her pet project of light rail will ever be delivered.

“Thanks to Ms Berejiklian, light rail has been a litany of waste and mismanagement.”

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

“Gladys Berejiklian was advised from day one that there were serious problems with this project but she ignored the advice, drove it through as her pet project and the result is a disastrous light rail wasting billion of dollars of taxpayers’ money.

“To make things worse Gladys Berejiklian adopted that style with other projects and still conducts herself in this manner even now. No wonder the state is in such a mess.”