Letter: Cost blowout raises questions

MONDAY’S Sydney Morning Herald article ‘‘Revealed: light rail comes at a heavy price’’ exposed the budget blowout on the cost of building the Liberal state government’s proposed light rail line in Sydney city.

The project has blown out and is now expected to cost $600million more than first budgeted.

How can Hunter residents be confident that we won’t see a parallel budget blowout here in Newcastle on the light rail proposal engineered by the same Liberal government and the same Minister for Transport?

Our Hunter community are entitled to be concerned and angry that neither the Premier nor the Minister for Transport, and Minister for the Hunter, Gladys Berejiklian, have come to the party and announced a proper budget costing for the Newcastle Light Rail.

Gavin Gatenby, from EcoTransit, is quoted as saying, ‘‘The whole point about light rail is that it’s affordable, high-capacity and very flexible.’’

Will the proposed light rail line in inner-city Newcastle be affordable, high-capacity and very flexible?

Sonia Hornery, member for Wallsend, Shadow Minister for the Hunter