The RTBU Tram and Bus division has serious concerns as to why the NSW Government has decided to provide beleaguered light rail contractor Acciona with another major job paid for by the taxpayer despite the Spanish company having a disastrous track record to date.

 

Considering the litany of failings that Acciona have been involved in, it’s astonishing that Health Infrastructure would trust the same company again with millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Employees of Acciona have been criticised numerous times for their poor standards, including:

 

  •   A video of a row of workers passing one brick at a time to each other
  •   A video of a worker carelessly throwing human bone remains over his shoulder
  •   Allegedly multiple workers doing nothing while watching one person work
  • Allegations of traffic controllers directing motorists into vehicle damaging hazards instead of away from them

 

To add to concern, Health Infrastructure handed the $7.9 million road project straight to Acciona without an open tender process.

 

Acciona has come under public fire from the Government itself multiple times for its poor performance, lengthy delays and cost blowouts. NSW Transport Minister Constance himself is quoted describing Acciona’s “unacceptable conduct”, saying “We are furious it’s not being delivered at the pace it should be” and “I cannot express strongly enough the NSW Government’s disappointment and exasperation at Acciona’s unacceptable conduct.” (ABC, 7/4/18)

 

This comes from a government has a history of inept decisions made to the detriment of taxpayers, commuters and business owners along light rail construction corridors. A government responsible for awarding the contract to Acciona in the first place. Infrastructure Australia, the peak infrastructure body of the nation rejected a $500 million funding request for the light rail project citing poor value, congestion, and overcrowding as reasons the project would not be supported. The Liberal government knew better than to take expert advice and went to the City of Sydney instead for a $220 million dollar grant and pushed on regardless. (ABC, 18/9/18)

 

We need a Government that takes the provision of public projects seriously instead of giving tax payer dollars to companies that can’t get the job done. We need a government that thinks beyond avoiding bad press and how it can hurt them politically and instead takes on the responsibility of spending our money with due diligence and accountability.

 

If they were governing for the benefit of the people of NSW then we wouldn’t have such appalling closed door decisions after so many poor public ones.

 

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