MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 14th December
The SA Government is at risk of major cost blow outs if it does not invest in local engineering skills to support the extension of the SA tramways.
The SA Government plans to invest $20 million to extend the tram line along King William Street, installing a new tram stop at Festival Plaza and purchasing three new trams, however there could be large delays and costs could grow due to lack of engineering skills in the public sector.
“This is a considerable investment for the Weatherill Government, and also a vital infrastructure project for South Australian commuters,” said Sarah Andrews, South Australian Director of Professionals Australia.
“Since the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure lowered its engineering capacity in recent years, the Government now lacks the technical capacity in-house to successfully carry out infrastructure projects.”
“The Government will struggle to deliver this project on time and on budget given it has cut internal engineering capacity to the bone. “
“Government engineers ensure public infrastructure is safe from the early stages of project design, scoping, construction right through to operation and maintenance. We know that when projects aren’t properly scoped they regularly run over budget and overtime – leading to enormous waste.
“Time and time again, we have heard the government say it is investing in infrastructure, yet at the same time it is decreasing its own engineering capacity.
“It is simply not good enough to just pour taxpayers’ money into new infrastructure projects if they insist on continuing to reduce government engineers. The government must make sure they are also maintaining and building the workforce capable of delivering these projects.
Professionals Australia’s Better Infrastructure report found 80% of engineers believe Governments no longer have sufficient in-house expertise to avoid wasting huge amounts of taxpayer dollars across both capital and maintenance projects.
“We urge the Weatherill Government to commit to restoring its in-house engineering capability. This is the only way the Government can avoid wasting millions of taxpayer funds, and successfully deliver important projects such as this tram for the community,” said Ms Andrews.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Burmeister – 0401 376 636 – firstname.lastname@example.org