The Greens are calling on the Government to reinstate engineering expertise in transport departments to prevent debacles such as structural issues within the Skytrain portion of the Sydney Metro project. This is after revelations that the NSW Government paid $400-$500m more to the operators of Sydney’s northwest metro project following delays caused by cracking in the Skytrain section of the line.
Greens NSW MP and Transport, Roads and Ports Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, said:
“Sydney Metro Northwest bears all the hallmarks of an infrastructure project where the public sector has been hollowed out of in-house engineering expertise while projects are outsourced. The inevitable effect is a Government that is unable to effectively oversee and supervise project delivery.
“The SkyTrain project was originally worth $340 million, it soon over ran by $50 million due to a design dispute, and now the public has to pay out another half a billion dollars to compensate this Government’s total and utter incompetency. This is nothing short of criminal.
“Just because they have enormous contingency in the budget for Sydney Metro doesn’t mean this isn’t a cost blowout.
“It is dangerously irresponsible of this Government to embark on projects worth billions without having expertise in the public sector to oversee the delivery. Public transport isn’t a contest of mega projects, but should be about delivering needed services on time and within budget, and with the best value for taxpayer money,” she concluded.