Signature METRONET Project Avoids Scrutiny of Budget as Blowouts and Delays Continue

Oct 18, 2020 | State News

Today’s announcement of the $1.1bill contract to Foreign Tier One contractor Laing O’Rourke highlights another broken election promise in the transport portfolio.

“Cost blowout for this project has grown from $863mill to $1.1bill for the main budget with $233mill in enabling works, highlighting the fact the McGowan Government can’t manage big projects. 

“Metronet is now almost double its original budget without a single track of new rail line being laid in almost four years’ of government,”

“Furthermore this Government has deliberately avoided any scrutiny ahead of the election by announcing the contract straight after the budget process.

Ms Mettam said the lack of transparency with the community over the project had also shown Labor can’t be trusted on big projects.

“It’s clear the McGowan Government have failed to invest in their so-called signature project which has been omitted from the McGowan Governments first four budget with construction delayed from 2019 to well after the next election.

“This project, which has been awarded to Tier 1 multinational Laing O’Rourke represents a missed opportunity for local mid-tier contractors who were not given an opportunity to have a share in the head contract.

“Metronet should be playing a major role in rebuilding our economy and creating jobs but Labor’s incompetence means people who could be in Metronet jobs right now will have to wait years for the work to begin.”

Fast facts: 

  • Morley Ellenbrook Line was promised $863 million, total budget for main contract is announced $1.1 billion. Construction was to start in 2019; now expected to be completed in 2023-2024.
  • The McGowan Labor Government have overseen the largest cost and time blowouts for rail projects in WA history. 
  • In three and a half years not a single centimetre of new rail has been laid by the McGowan Labor Government. 
  • WA Labor said in 2017 planning for Oats Street level crossing would start construction in 2019-2020 with value capture opportunities. Value Capture is now dumped and construction is unlikely this year. 
  • Metronet is becoming a West Australian project delivered largely by foreign contractors. 
  • Costs associated with the Morley Ellenbrook line include; $1.1 billion for MEL, $253 million for Bayswater Station, $233 million for MEL works in Tonkin Gap.