According to the NSW minister for WestConnex, Stuart Ayres, all is well and on track with the WestConnex motorway project, despite claims to the contrary that found over $1 billion has been spent on a range of avoidable contractor claims.
“The WestConnex is on time and on budget,” said Ayres, who also added that, “Cost claims are a standard part of building major infrastructure projects.”
However, according to a number of press reports this week, the WestConnex motorway has garnered over than $1 billion in legal claims from contractors’ and other company’s due to issues such as contaminated land, planning delays and other issues pertaining to obtaining the required planning approvals.
The NSW minister responsible for the $17 billion road insisted these kinds of issues are all within the scope of the project.
“All WestConnex contracts have clear risk allocations and legitimate variations are accounted for in the budget,” noted Ayres.
The NSW opposition unsurprisingly, sees things rather differently.
According to the NSW deputy leader of the opposition and shadow minister for planning and infrastructure Michael Daley, there needs to be a more comprehensive explanation from the Berijiklian government.
“The government will need to explain why there has been $1 billion in claims,” said Daley
“However, what is known is that the process used to assess and implement infrastructure has been found lacking.”
Moreover, noted Daley, “WestConnex was $10 billion when first proposed and is now $17 billion. Stage three of WestConnex has undergone three major design overhauls because the planning work was not done at the beginning.”
“The liberal government has made bold claims about their ability to deliver infrastructure but it does not stand up to scrutiny,” he said.