Has the Minister taken any action following the release of the Australian
National Audit Office Audit of WestConnex?
If so, what action has been taken?
Was the Minister, or the Department before the Minister's appointment, aware
that the milestones for Federal Government payments to WestConnex were adjusted
and backdated from the agreed milestones with the federal government in order
to keep the funds flowing?
If so, what action has been taken in response to this action?
What oversight does the Minister have concerning the Sydney Motorway
Corporation in relation to the expenditure of government grant funding to
Why were the federal funds front-loaded into Stage 1?
Why was the $2 billion concessional loan negotiated in 2013 when the Audit
Report states that there is evidence that Stage 2 of WestConnex could have
progressed as planned without this loan?
Why was the Government loan sought when according to the Audit Report these
funds could have been obtained from private sector lenders and through the
privatization of Stage 1 in 2019-20?
(1) The Australian National Audit Office Audit report is not critical of any
aspect of the WestConnex project and the significant benefits it will deliver
for New South Wales. The report's findings relate to the approval and
administration of Commonwealth funding for the WestConnex project which will be
responded to directly by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional
(2) All milestone payments received from the Federal Government were made
with the condition that sufficient work had been undertaken and there was
sufficient evidence of project progress. At no time were milestone payments
received for WestConnex based on work that had not been completed at the time
the payment was made.
(3) Sydney Motorway Corporation's projects are subject to normal Government
reporting processes, as prescribed by the Cabinet Standing Committee on
Infrastructure. Infrastructure NSW provides monthly progress reports to Cabinet
as part of its ongoing advisory and assurance role for the Government. Further
details can be found on the Sydney Motorway Corporation website.
(4) to (6) Stages 1 and 2 of WestConnex are funded from Restart NSW, Federal
Government grants, private sector bank loan and Federal Government loan. The
Federal Government's loan facility provided the necessary finance to deliver
WestConnex Stage 2 independent of any other project stage, and removed the
reliance of finance being sourced from the sale of Stage 1 after opening to
traffic. The loan facility accelerated the project by more than 12 months with
the New M5 King Georges Interchange Upgrade starting in mid-2015 and opening to
traffic in early December 2016. The WestConnex 2013 Business Case scheduled the
New M5 construction to start in mid-2016.