26 September 2023

Sydney Metro review finds budget off rails

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The challenge-plagued Sydney Metro program is to be the subject of an independent review in a bid to salvage the current projects.

Announcing the review, Premier Chris Minns said it had become clear that the challenges facing the Program were major.

“The Sydney Metro Program has been plagued by significant cost overruns and significant time delays,” Mr Minns said.

He said early briefings on the Program revealed that Sydney Metro West was estimated to cost $25.32 billion – an overrun of at least $12 billion – and was estimated to open in 2030, instead of the mid-to-late 2020s.

Mr Minns said the estimated full cost of building Sydney Metro City and Southwest was at least $20.5 billion, up to around $9 billion more than the initial estimate.

“The Sydney Metro Review will examine delivery models, project governance and passenger impacts and the best way to resuscitate Sydney’s major transport infrastructure pipeline,” the Premier said.

“The review will also thoroughly evaluate the delivery of Sydney Metro to date, the current state of progress against delivery targets and make recommendations for getting the maximum value out of the project, including looking at better land use, urban renewal and better integration with the wider transport network,” he said.

“It will be undertaken with a view to determining how to deliver a fully integrated, safe, accessible and reliable public transport system, not just Sydney Metro.”

Mr Minns said the review team had been asked to deliver a preliminary report to help inform the 2023 Budget process, with a final report to be delivered by the end of the year.

He said the review would be led by Mike Mrdak, who has previously served as a Federal Departmental Secretary for over a decade.

Mr Mrdak is to be joined by Amanda Yeates as the Deputy Chair. Ms Yeates was previously the Deputy Director General, Department of Transport and Main Roads in Queensland.

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