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Government defends $50m railway cost increase

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan has defended management of the New MetroRail project despite announcing another cost increase and delays in completion.
Ms MacTiernan said today the project was scheduled to be completed in July 2007, three months later than previously scheduled.
She also announced a $49.8 million increase in the contingency sum, lifting the total budget to $1,613 million, as a result of the general increase in construction costs and an assessment of legal claims by various contractors totalling $250 million.
The Minister said the total increase in the budget since 2003 was about six per cent, which was an "exceptional performance" in light of the larger cost increases facing many private sector engineering and construction projects.
"That is very, very reasonable and demonstrates that we are managing the project in a very tight manner," Ms MacTiernan said.


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