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Sydney light rail subcontractor 'would not have signed' with knowledge of required utility work


November 29, 2018 1:23:05 PM

The subcontractor building Sydney's troubled CBD light rail says it would never have signed the contract if it had been given documents showing the extent of work that needed to be done on underground utilities pits.

Acciona Australia Managing Director Bede Noonan told a parliamentary inquiry one of his colleagues described the guidelines as a "crap the pants" document, because the impact was so significant.

"Receiving these Ausgrid guidelines after contract signing was like Transportation for NSW dropping a bomba on you," Mr Noonan said.

"If we received these before, we would not have signed. It's as fundamental as that."

The light rail project's delivery date has already blown out to 2020 and the cost has ballooned from $ 500 million to $ 2.1 million.

It was originally meant to be completed by early 2019 but today Mr Noonan conceded the revised deadline of May 2020 might not be met.

"There is a risk," Mr Noonan said.

"There are a range of operations that need to occur to get completion of the project so it depends on how those operations play out."

Yesterday an Auditor-General's report revealed the $ 207 million contingency fund for the project had already been fully exhausted, so more budget blow outs were expected.

Acciona is suing the State Government for $ 1.1 billion for allegedly failing to reveal it had not secured an agreement with Ausgrid about how the cables on the underground route should be dealt with.

Mr. Noonan told the inquiry today if that information had been provided before the contract was signed, "This project most likely would not have proceeded" because of the "cost, time and risk" of the work involved.

"The withholding of these guidelines was a fundamental mistake for Transport for NSW," Mr Noonan said.

The inquiry will hear from Transport for New South Wales representatives later today.





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