Stalled labor dispute adds $50 million to transportation project costs

Sydney’s biggest public transport project has been swept away by a long-running dispute between the NSW government and railway unions, with industrial action adding more than $50million to the city and metro budget of the southwest, with costs expected to rise.

Major construction on critical sections of the multi-billion dollar rail project has stalled after workers refused to turn off power to allow track work to progress safely under protected industrial action.

Construction of the Sydney Metropolitan City has stalled amid a protracted industrial dispute.

Construction of the Sydney Metropolitan City has stalled amid a protracted industrial dispute.Credit:Nick Moire

The NSW government has been at odds with unions for months, unable to resolve a dispute over the new Intercity Fleet, a $2.8bn set of trains that sit idle on the Central Coast because railway workers say they are not safe to operate.

Senior government officials fear protracted industrial action could send costs and delays spiraling out of control for the metro project, as union officials warn they will keep measures in place through a planned ramp-up of work reviews in July.

“It’s hitting the southwest [Metro] out of its critical path – resulting in colossal cascading costs – meaning that the cost impacts of live infrastructure projects outweigh the already considerable impacts of industrial action,” a senior government source said. level.

A Metro spokeswoman confirmed that more than $50 million had been lost due to industrial action in the city and the Southwest Metro.

A new intercity fleet train sits idle at a central coast maintenance facility amid a protracted standoff between railway unions and the NSW government.

A new intercity fleet train sits idle at a central coast maintenance facility amid a protracted standoff between railway unions and the NSW government.Credit:Tom Rabe

“Major upgrades to the Bankstown Line for Sydney Underground – making stations accessible for the first time and improving service frequency and journey times – cannot go ahead without electrical isolation” , she said. “This includes all work near energized power supplies, cable installation, electrical work, installation of elevators and stairs, lobby, as well as canopy leveling work and of the bridge.”

Nearly 70% of lost shifts caused by the industrial action were to be made up during critical work which was due to take place during the July school holidays, but this could not be done if the industrial action was in place, said she declared.

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