Minister for Cross River Rail Kate Jones today announced a major reform package to ensure contractual commitments on the Cross River Rail project are delivered as the project moves to the construction phase.
Ms Jones said her priority was to ensure that Pulse consortium and head contractor CPB Group complied fully with their contract with the State Government to deliver the largest infrastructure project in Queensland’s history.
“Right now, CPB is trying to weasel its way out of its contract with the Victorian Government on the multi-billion-dollar West Gate Tunnel.
“Since coming into the role at the end of last year, I have been reviewing the structure of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.
“It is clear to me and to Cabinet that now we have moved from the procurement phase to the construction phase of the project we need to beef up compliance.
“Our government has made strong commitments to Queenslanders to deliver long-term benefits to the state’s future through our record investment in infrastructure.
“This includes more jobs for locals, more training for young apprentices and trainees and better workplace health and safety, delivering real opportunities for local Queensland businesses to get contracts as well as fair industrial relations practices and environmental compliance.
“While the construction project is currently on track and on budget, it is early days.
“I want to ensure I have the right people with the right skills to deliver this project and hold CPB and Pulse Consortium to account.
“I’m not going to let CPB run roughshod over Queenslanders or the workers on this job.”
Ms Jones today announced that Cabinet had agreed to the following reforms:
1. The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will report directly to the Minister
2. A Compliance Unit will be established to ensure all commitments made by the contractor are met during the construction of the project
3. The board will be restructured once the current term expires in April this year, in line with the transition from procurement to construction
Ms Jones said Queensland will heed the lessons from southern states experiencing massive contractual disputes that were delaying vital infrastructure.
“We’ve seen delays on the Victorian Government’s Melbourne Metro Tunnel project due to on-going disputes with the builder,” she said.
“And we have all suffered with the NSW stadiums deal debacle that has seen timelines pushed out and the Grand Final being played at a cricket ground for up to three years.”
Ms Jones said that the Compliance Unit would be established immediately.
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for Cross River Rail
The Honourable Kate Jones