Three times over budget and three years late

Why is nineteenth century technology so bloody expensive:

The first train line in Sydney to be paid for and built under the Rudd and Gillard governments opened on Monday, $700 million over budget and three years after it was promised to be finished.

The 36km Southern Sydney Freight Line will allow extra freight trains to run between Macarthur and Chullora in the city’s south west and will increase rail freight capacity along the entire Australian east coast.

But the project ended up being vastly more expensive to build than when it was first promised by the federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, in 2009. 

At a press conference in Birrong to mark the start of operations on the line, Mr Albanese and the chief executive of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, which built the line, defended the blow-out.

The final cost was about $1 billion. When Mr Albanese announced the start of construction in February 2009, he put a figure of $309 million on the project and a completion date of early 2010.

Mark my words this is what will happen if Len Brown is allowed his silly train-set.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Patrick

    $28million per kilometre? Albanese blames having to move water & power lines during construction for the blow out? What did he get for the $12million spent during the planning phase? “We wanted to make sure we got it right. No corners have been cut”

    Pretty easy to explain it away when it is taxpayers money being spent.

    Makes Cullen’s1.5billion train set look a bargain – & we all know what a wonderful piece of business that turned out to be, for Michael Cullen

    • blokeintakapuna

      Too true Patrick.
      The various unions working to rule on “go slows” will be a large part of these cost over runs. It’s always the same with government funded projects – most always these projects come in twice or three times the originally quoted price.

      I hope if loopy-len does eventually get the white-elephant, white water rafting arena underway, that he will be made to sign personal guarantees that it will only cost the long-suffering Auckland rate payer $58M and not a cent more – or he will pay for any cost overruns himself.

      That would certainly make him STFU and all the other politicians offering voters what ever it might be they want with their vested interests – that those same polly promises are backed up with personal guarantees – that they MUST pay for out of their own pockets should costs / delays spiral out of hand – like they always, always do…

      Fully costed policies – that would totally fuck the Greens and Labour – completely! Make them personally liable for the promises they make – now there’s a novel idea for the politicians to be held financially accountable for their electioneering promises…

      • Liberty

        “The various unions working to rule on go slows”

        Sounds Like the same story. That we had with
        think big.

        Marxist unions running riot. With and inept government

        Too spineless to do anything about it.

      • Steve R

        When will the spending of money the city doesn’t have stop ! We need a mayor that stops spending for a term and just runs the city like a business .

    • Liberty

      I think you will find $28m pr km cheap
      compared to Lens (Supported by Labour/Green) Hole in the ground.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Whoo hoo only 3 times over budget didn’t we do well. Let’s throw a party.

    If it was a commercial enterprise it would not have been over budget.

  • peterwn

    Bet the BERL figures for doing up and operating the Gisborne line are out by a factor of 3. Kiwirail has to put its arse on the line with its figures, BERL does not. NSW State who effectively own the electricity and water networks no doubt ensured the legislative framework allowed full cost recovery for relocating power and water services including gold plating and no incentive to do the work efficiently.

    • Callum

      None of the forestry guys want to run on the line as the numbers don’t add up, BERL report relies on foresty to break even. Hmm, something not right.

  • tarkwin

    These guys are amateurs, wait till Len get’s his train set started! He’ll make these guys look like fiscal magicians.