Minister claims major delay is a ‘typo’
Estimates has revealed the true cost of Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project has climbed to a whopping $8 billion.
Estimates hearings today uncovered a budget overspend of $2.84 billion bringing the total cost of the project to $8.024 billion – a 48.6% increase on the $5.4 billion spruiked by the Palaszczuk Government.
When asked why the project is running a year behind, Transport Minister Mark Bailey made the extraordinary claim that the original media release had a ‘typo’ in it.
The LNP also questioned why nine additional projects had been quietly added to the Cross River Rail budget under different names.
These projects total $1.136 billion dollars on top of an additional $1.48 billion of a “commercial-in-confidence” deal.
When asked about the additional costs that had snuck into the budget, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said Cross River Rail was a project that Queenslanders “love and understand”.
“This is sneakiness of the highest order,” Mr Minnikin said.
“To listen to Mark Bailey fumble over core and non-core promises was embarrassing. It’s the same project and taxpayers’ money.
“We already know the cost of this project has blown out and won’t be delivered on time, and this Minister just shrugs his shoulders.
“This is one of the biggest projects in Queensland and the Palaszczuk Government wants us to believe it’s not late because of typos, and on budget because major elements of the projects are under different names.
“Queenslanders know they can’t trust the Palaszczuk Government and this proves it.
“Just be upfront about the cost and timeframes.
“Queenslanders would be rightly outraged at the Minister’s lack of transparency and accountability when it comes to this critical project.”
The additional projects in the Cross River Rail budget include:
The Minister also confirmed government media releases promising the project would be ready to service the south-east by 2024, were wrong and the project wouldn’t be delivered until 2025.
“It is laughable that the Minister claims this is a typo,” Mr Minnikin said.
“The lack of integrity shown by the Minister at Estimates today and his disdain towards questions about this multi-billion project is appalling.
“Queenslanders deserve to know the true cost of this project, they deserve to know when it will be delivered, and they deserve to be told the truth.
“Accountability matters, it just doesn’t matter to the Palaszczuk Government.”