Senior Liberal and National party members are unable to answer basic questions about the $2.1 Billion Sydney Light Rail project, it was found at a Parliamentary Inquiry into the Sydney Light Rail last Monday.
Photo: Illawarra Mercury
At the inquiry, Liberal party members Shayne Mallard and Matthew Mason-Cox and National Party member Trevor Khan were repeatedly asked if the costs and benefits of the Sydney Light Rail project were the same as they were in 2014.
They refused or were unable to answer the questions.
In 2016, the NSW Auditor General, Margaret Crawford, found that Gladys Berejiklian and Transport for NSW had lied when they claimed that a half billion-dollar blowout in costs for the light rail project was due to ‘major wins’ like a doubling of capacity.
Transport for NSW executives, Gladys Berejiklian and the Liberal/National cabinet knew that the capacity of the Sydney Light Rail had actually fallen by 25%, and the estimated journey time had increased from 34 to 38 minutes, a staggering 25% longer trip than peak hour buses take to make the journey from Kingsford and Randwick to Circular Quay.
Transport for NSW and Gladys Berejiklian also lied about the $4 Billion benefits of the project, when they knew that the benefits had fallen to $3 Billion by 2014, the Auditor General report found.
Image: Alan Moir – Sydney Morning Herald
The Auditor General recommended that Transport for NSW come clean about the real costs and benefits of the Sydney Light Rail project, and make them publicly available by the end of 2016.
This has not happened.
There are calls for Gladys Berejiklian, Andrew Constance, senior public servants, NSW cabinet members, and any other public or private entities who were involved with approving or endorsing the Sydney Light Rail project to resign or be sacked.
“How a government, public servants and private consortiums can get away with these bald-faced lies is beyond me,” said Mr John Bellamy of the Sydney Light Rail Action Group.
Mr Alex Kleytman, a civil engineer, estimator and quantity surveyor of 54 years, who worked on the Sydney Olympic Stadium, the M2, M5, M7 motorways and the Cross-City Tunnel, said that the project must be stopped immediately.
Others are calling for a royal commission into all current and future infrastructure projects which only seem to benefit property developers and not the people of Sydney or the taxpayers of NSW.
“The former Baird and O’Farrell governments should also be put under the scrutiny of a Royal Commission.” said Mr Bellamy.
“What makes it even more of a scandal, is that taxpayers’ money, and the sale of state assets like the electricity poles and wires, and historic buildings has been used to fund these projects.”
“Who will hold these people to account? How can they be allowed to get away with this daylight robbery and scandalous abuse of taxpayers’ money?”
Image: ABC News
- The next session of the Parliamentary Inquiry will be held on Wednesday 3rd More details.
- A public accounts committee investigation will find out if the Auditor General recommendations have been adhered to on Monday 17th September. More Information
- And the next mention of the $1 Billion lawsuit from Spanish contractor ACCIONA v. Transport will be held in the Supreme Court of NSW Friday 14th List details available 13th September here.
- Actions: To stop the light rail project:
- Call NSW Premier 02 8574 5000
- Call NSW Opposition Leader 02 9230 2310
- Call Prime Minister 02 6277 7700
- Call Opposition Leader 02 6277 4022
For a PDF of this press release please click Sydney Light Rail con job