The State Government has today finally conceded the multi-billion dollar Cross River Rail project will be over budget and not delivered on time.
The State Government has repeatedly told Queenslanders the project will cost taxpayers $5.4 billion and will be ready by 2024.
In Estimates Hearings at Parliament today, Government officials confirmed that the first passengers will not travel on Cross River Rail until at least 2025, a year later than promised.
And the true cost of the project will be more than $7 billion, almost $2 billion higher than promised.
During the hearings, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Premier was just missing “a decimal point” when she told delegates at the Tokyo Olympics that the project would cost $5 billion and be delivered in 2024.
That missing decimal point overlooks more than $2 billion in hidden cost blowouts and ignores the ballooning delivery delay.
“The Labor State Government is losing control of its flagship infrastructure project,” Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said.
“It couldn’t get much worse. They’ve watered down the number of train services they promised, and now we know that the cost of the project has blown out and won’t be delivered on time.
“It all points to a big black hole that is the Cross River Rail project.
“It’s no surprise that Infrastructure Australia ruled the business case for Cross River Rail doesn’t stack up.”
Government officials also confirmed other projects totalling $560 million, and outside the Budget for Cross River Rail, will now form part of the project.
“They’re squirreling away money in other pots, like Clapham Yard stabling, which are still being delivered by the Cross River Rail Authority,” Mr Minnikin said.
“Ultimately all of this will have to be paid back by taxpayers.
“It’s time the Government started being honest with Queenslanders about the true cost of Cross River Rail.”