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Independent review of Inland Rail

Apr 11, 2023Hot Topic News

The findings of the Independent Review of Inland Rail has revealed the predicted cost of the project will blow out to $30 billion and could be further delayed by another four years.

The Federal Government has agreed to, in full or in principle, to the 19 recommendations made in the independent review which you can read here.

Not surprisingly, the details of the review received significant media coverage.

The Australian said:

Construction costs for the Inland Rail project have almost doubled in two years to $31.4bn with the project completion date now delayed to as late as 2031 due to “immature preliminary designs” and mismanagement, an independent review has found.

The independent review carried out by Kerry Schott found that the “astonishing estimated cost increase” for the mega-rail project had ballooned from an estimated cost of $16.4bn in 2020 to the current figure.

Its likely completion date has been pushed back by another four years.

The Sydney Morning Herald said:

Blunders by the public rail authority helped triple the cost of the Inland Rail to more than $30 billion, a report has found, leaving in doubt the future of a 1700-kilometre freight link from Melbourne to Brisbane designed to take thousands of trucks off eastern seaboard roads.

Former Commonwealth energy adviser Kerry Schott’s report, released overnight, blamed the ‘‘astonishing estimated cost increase’’ on basic failures in planning and project delivery by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

The Guardian said:

The predicted price tag of the Inland Rail megaproject has almost doubled in two years to more than $30bn, as an independent review savages the former Coalition government’s handling of the plan.

In her independent review of the Inland Rail, commissioned by the Albanese government last year and released on Thursday, Dr Kerry Schott also flagged further delivery delays of at least four years.