Leaked Cabinet documents show that Transport Minister Andrew Constance misled Parliament when he claimed that the CBD and South East Light Rail is “on budget and on time”. 

It is yet another damaging revelation from explosive leaked documents given to the NSW Opposition. They reveal that the Premier’s pet project is not running on time, and has a red light status.

The on-time status has been given a red alert because the project is not on-track and is no longer expected to be delivered within approved timeframes.

Further, the cost status of the project is listed as at risk with the government $30 million over their 2016-17 budget as of March 2017 causing an amber alert.

The documents dated March 2017 contradict Minister Constance’s claim, which he made in the same month under heavy questioning from Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley in Parliament:

“I can assure members of the house, having sat through project meeting after project meeting, week in and week out, that the project [CBD and South East Light Rail] is on budget and on time.” – 9 March 2017


The March 2019 opening date – which would be just in time for the next state election – is now being “closely monitored”, as is the project’s budget.

Last month, Mr Constance also tried to lay blame for a compensation claim against the government of $340 million at the feet of Spanish contracting company Acciona but the leaked documents point to the government’s “revised program” as the reason for outstanding contract penalty claims.

It also spells a broken promise by the government to finalise all outstanding design and scope issues by December 2016 – as required by the Auditor-General after she released a report blaming the $517 million blowout on “omissions and mispricing” in the business case.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Traditionally, if a Minister misleads Parliament he or she loses their job.

“The Minister should fall on his sword here – not the fed-up public servants.

“There is chaos inside the Berejiklian Government caused by a failing infrastructure program.

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

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

“There is something very wrong within the Berejiklian Government. Every project they are working on has significant problems. This Government just cannot plan and deliver major projects properly. Put simply, they're just not very good at it.

“This is a highly embarrassing leak for the Berejiklian Government.

“This is a debacle. It’s no surprise that the government is so desperate to keep it a secret.

The Liberals’ promise that projects will be delivered on time and on budget is farcical. When you scratch the surface it’s all spin.”