State Opposition Leader Luke Foley dropped into Newcastle this morning calling on the state government to come clean about the real cost of the light rail project.

The true cost of Newcastle’s Light Rail project was revealed in leaked cabinet documents released over the weekend which shows the project’s budget has been blown out by around $35 million.

When she visited the Hunter last week to speak with local businesses, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the project was in fact on budget and on time and anything to the contrary was rubbish.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley and Federal

Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp

Luke Foley the documents prove the indisputable fact the project is neither on budget or on time.

“Stop telling porkies your own internal documents show its blown out by $35 million dollars already and you know she comes here, refuses to release any detail about costing but says trust me it’s on budget. Well, I’ve released the information, I’ve released what they’ve kept hidden – $290 million dollars and rising for two and a bit kilometres of light rail.”

Federal Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp sees it as a total disrespect for the people of Newcastle, particularly when the figures for the Sydney light rail project have been released.

“This premier (Gladys Berejiklian) was here last Tuesday and looked in the eyes of the Newcastle community and said this project was on budget. Well, clearly the evidence indicates that it is not. Now this government is not being transparent and it is not being clear and it needs to be clear on this particular issue.”

Luke Foley says the government need to look to the future, just like Labor would if they were in power.
“We’re not going to rip up the light rail track and close it down and indeed there needs to be a discussion about the future – there’s not much point in delivering a light rail network for a big city that’s just two kilometres long so we’re interested in the discussion about where it might expand into the future and doing the proper planning work now.”