Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance must come clean on whether they misled the public over a $500 million blow-out on Sydney’s inner-city light-rail project.
Labor has called on Treasurer and Transport Minister to release all documents relating to the advice given to them from October 2014.
Failure to do so means the culture of cover-up, lies and secrecy that pervades the Government’s management of transport infrastructure projects will continue.
On Wednesday a damning report by the Auditor General into the CBD & South East Light Rail revealed the real reason for the rise in the cost of the $2.1 billion project.
The Auditor General put the cost rises down to “mispricing and omissions” in the business case – directly contradicting both ministers. The same Auditor-General report also revealed that in October 2014 Transport for NSW (TfNSW) knew the real reasons for the blow-out.
Yet two months later, in a December 2014 media release, the then Transport Minister, Ms Berejiklian, put the rise in the cost of the project down to “customer improvements to the original scope”.
Mr Constance, who was Treasurer at the time, also referred to Ms Berejiklian’s media release when asked about reasons for the rise in costs.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
“Gladys Berejikilan said she would take full responsibility and that means full disclosure: she needs to tell the public what she knew, or why she didn’t know.
“Someone in government is not telling the truth - the culture of secrecy swamping NSW Transport projects must end today.
“It just beggars belief that this Government expects the community to believe that half a billion dollars was frittered away and no one in power knew anything about it.
Shadow Transport and Roads Minister Jodi McKay
“Andrew Constance was Treasurer and Gladys Berejikilan was Transport Minister and yet both are sticking to a story that the costs blowout was down to changes in scope. They are taking the public for fools.
“They must release the advice and any correspondence they received on this blowout. If they don’t then we can draw one conclusion only – that this is yet another cover-up by this Government.”