In the AFR by Jenny Wiggins

An underbidder for the disastrous Sydney light rail project says it was obvious the biggest risk to the project was moving utilities. ‘‘We all knew the biggest risk was the utilities,’’ Inaki Mendizabal, the director overseeing the Asia Pacific for CAF. An underbidder for the disastrous Sydney light rail project says it was obvious that the biggest risk to the project was moving utilities.

Rail manufacturer CAF was part of the SydneyConnect consortium, along with John Holland and the Plenary Group, which lost the tender to build the Sydney light rail system in 2014 to a consortium that includes Spanish infrastructure group Acciona, which is suing the NSW government.

‘‘We all knew the biggest risk was the utilities,’’ Inaki Mendizabal, the director overseeing the Asia Pacific region for CAF, said at its manufacturing plant in Zaragoza, Spain. ‘‘It’s a very, very bad situation.’’

The CBD light rail project is running a year late and is $1 billion over budget – and facing a NSW Supreme Court lawsuit due to disputes over removing utilities located under the light rail tracks.

The problems plaguing the Sydney light rail project could complicate the delivery of future light rail systems because governments will have to take more responsibility for managing timely delivery of contracts, according to CAF.

The NSW government is breaking up the contracts for the new Parramatta light rail project to avoid running into the same problems as the Sydney CBD project.

Read the full story in the Australian Financial Review here. 

 

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