The Courier-Mail

ONE TRACK MIND

Cost blowout as ex­perts ig­nored

- STEVEN WARDILL Jackie Trad

FOR­MER Cross River Rail min­is­ter Jackie Trad ig­nored ex­pert ad­vice and forged ahead with plans for a flawed new sta­tion in her elec­torate – po­ten­tially cost­ing tax­pay­ers hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars, se­cret doc­u­ments re­veal.

Bid­ders for the $5.4bn project, along with its de­liv­ery author­ity and tech­ni­cal team, all warned the pro­posed Boggo Road sta­tion was lit­tered with en­gi­neer­ing and safety prob­lems.

THE Palaszczuk gov­ern­ment ig­nored ex­pert ad­vice and pro­ceeded with a flawed new Cross River Rail sta­tion in Jackie Trad’s elec­torate in a bun­gle that could cost tax­pay­ers hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars, ex­plo­sive se­cret doc­u­ments have re­vealed.

The se­ries of leaked brief­ing notes and confidenti­al pa­pers have ex­posed how bid­ders for the $5.4bn project along with its de­liv­ery author­ity and tech­ni­cal team warned the pro­posed Boggo Road sta­tion was lit­tered with en­gi­neer­ing and safety prob­lems.

How­ever, the gov­ern­ment forged ahead any­way with its plan to build at Boggo Road and re­de­velop the old Dut­ton Park Sta­tion, re­ject­ing a pro­posal for a sin­gle sta­tion on land be­hind Princess Alexan­dria Hos­pi­tal that was cheaper and safer.

The sec­ond-term La­bor ad­min­is­tra­tion signed a multi­bil­lion-dol­lar con­tract with a con­sor­tium to build the much­hyped un­der­ground rail link in June last year, de­spite know­ing the align­ment did not meet state leg­is­la­tion, national rail laws or en­gi­neer­ing stan­dards.

Among the 45 iden­ti­fied flaws were warn­ings of “trac­tion loss” in wet weather, sig­nif­i­cant wear on rolling stock due to the slope and curve of the track near Boggo Road, and on­go­ing plat­form gap is­sues at Dut­ton Park.

The sit­u­a­tion has now de­te­ri­o­rated with the con­sor­tium cho­sen to build Cross River Rail, Pulse, or­dered six months ago to “stop all works based on the orig­i­nal de­sign” at the project’s south­ern end.

An in­ter­de­part­men­tal com­mit­tee is at­tempt­ing to find so­lu­tions which in­sid­ers say could cost $600m-$900m more than the al­ter­na­tive plan. Pulse and the Cross River Rail De­liv­ery Author­ity (CRRDA) are at log­ger­heads, with the con­sor­tium de­mand­ing com­pen­sa­tion un­der the terms of its con­tract which stip­u­lates it can be paid up to $2m a day for de­lays.

In a brief­ing note to for­mer deputy premier Ms Trad on

There are ex­pected to be cost ben­e­fits ... com­pared with the Boggo Road op­tion.

Confidenti­al brief­ing

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 ??  ?? Cross C River Rail un­der con­struc­tion (above); an artist’s im­age im of the com­pleted Boggo Road Sta­tion (main); map of the th ac­tual and pro­posed lines and how we cov­ered the story.
Cross C River Rail un­der con­struc­tion (above); an artist’s im­age im of the com­pleted Boggo Road Sta­tion (main); map of the th ac­tual and pro­posed lines and how we cov­ered the story.
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