Corbell Caught Out On Light Rail Comments

Simon Corbell is inconsistent in his remarks about contingency funds for the government’s light rail project as well as in his excuses for not previously revealing the cost of light rail, Shadow Minister for Transport Alistair Coe said today.

Contingency: Simon Corbell, 16 May 2013 (Hansard):

The current cost assessment [$614m] includes a significant contingency for unknown factors. That is in the order of around 15 to 20 per cent of the total cost estimate that has been provided to date.

Simon Corbell, 15 & 16 September 2014 (Industry Briefing & ABC 666):

The cost of the project will be determined by a competitive market process; however the estimated capital cost of the project is $610 million plus a $173 million contingency.

Like for like comparison is capital delivery cost of $610 million, versus the URS 2011 figure that’s been quoted often of $614 million. And what we’ve done is added to that a contingency, which was not explicit in the earlier URS costings.

Revealing the cost: Simon Corbell, 25 June 2014 (Estimates):

The government is not proposing to release revised cost estimates as we approach the procurement process. To do so would be to potentially compromise that procurement process and competitive tension in that process. It could also compromise value for money for the government and the community.

Simon Corbell, 15 September 2014 (Industry Briefing):

The cost of the project will be determined by a competitive market process; however the estimated capital cost of the project is $610 million plus a $173 million contingency.

“Simon Corbell is all over the place when discussing light rail and needs to be honest when talking to Canberrans about a project which will now cost $800 million,” Mr Coe concluded.