Sydney’s new light rail delayed until 2020

27/11/2018 Posted by admin

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance says Sydney’s light rail must meet a 2019 deadline.Sydney’s troubled light rail project is at least a year behind schedule, Transport Minister Andrew Constance has been told by the consortium building the project.

The light rail running from the CBD to the eastern suburbs was meant to be finished in 2019 but AAP understands Mr Constance was advised by contractor ALTRAC on Thursday the new completion date was March 2020.

The news comes less than a week after the state government was taken to court by Spanish subcontractor Acciona, which is the firm building the $2.1 billion project.

Acciona has accused Transport for NSW in the NSW Supreme Court of engaging in “misleading or deceptive conduct” in relation to the contract.

The company wants another $1.1 billion from the government, which is fighting the claim.

The light rail was originally budgeted to cost $1.6 billion before a $500 million blowout.

Acciona’s new demands threatens to double the original cost.

Mr Constance on Thursday accused Acciona of playing games and said the government still wanted the light rail finished next year.

“We want to see it delivered in 2019 as per the project deed,” the minister told 2GB radio.

“It is vital that ALTRAC accelerate and get on with their program. We have businesses and residents being hurt by their actions and inactions.”

Opposition Leader Luke Foley says businesses along George Street are suffering the most.

“The people I’m concerned about are the small business people who are hitting the fence – their revenue is down 60 or 70 per cent or more,” Mr Foley told reporters.

The Labor leader said the government, in particular Mr Constance and Premier Gladys Berejiklian, was treating business owners as “collateral damage”.

Mr Foley said Mr Constance had handled the project badly but it was his predecessor as transport minister, Ms Berejiklian, who needed to accept overall responsibility.

“I feel a bit sorry for Andrew Constance, I mean, he’s got the hospital pass of this dud light rail project from the premier,” Mr Foley said.

“She has to explain what her plan is when it comes to light rail because it’s her baby, this project, and it’s a disastrous project.”

Australian Associated Press

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