Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has written to the Governor seeking a Special Commission of Inquiry to look into systemic issues plaguing Transport in NSW, including bungled projects, inflated benefits, cost blowouts worth tens of billions, the targeting of public servants and the billions of dollars being poured into projects against the advice of this Government’s own experts, and deliberate attempts to hide information from the public.
Dr. Faruqi said a Special Commission of Inquiry would have the powers to get to the bottom of these issues, require the production of documents, and demand answers from Government Ministers.
Dr. Faruqi said:
“The Premier and Transport Minister must be held accountable and finally be forced to answer to the public. They’ve arrogantly refused to justify their actions till now, but a Special Commissioner would have the power to demand an explanation.
“The people of NSW are paying the exorbitant social, economic and environmental price of this government’s bad decisions which are not made on sound evidence, rigorous analysis or with community input.
“Given the culture of secrecy and the complete lack of transparency within this Government, it is clear that nothing short of a Special Commission of Inquiry will expose the debacle that is unfolding in transport in NSW – the cost blow outs, the targeting of public servants and the billions of dollars being poured into projects against the advice of this governments own experts.
“Responsibility for the tens of billions wasted in cost overruns sits squarely with the Transport Minister Andrew Constance, and his predecessor, the now Premier Gladys Berejiklian. The more than eleven billion dollars, and counting, in cost blow outs could have built over 600 schools or more than 15 new hospitals.
“There is no shortage of whistle-blowers who have pointed out all the dodgy business happening in transport and roads planning, including allegations that the NSW Government has deliberately inflated benefit-cost ratios to justify politically-motivated projects.
“These problems are not a one-off but pervade the whole system of planning and delivering transport. As an engineer and an MP, I simply can’t stand by and watch this.
“The hollowing out and disregard for public sector expertise, has meant government processes are just rubber stamping a pre-determined outcome. This Government drives out anyone who disagrees with their agenda,” she concluded.