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The NSW Government has been deliberately vague on whether the Metro City and Southwest project has blown out by $4 billion, instead saying major infrastructure projects often encounter challenges.
Tunnelling is currently underway from the end of the Metro North West at Chatswood for the new Metro through Crows Nest, Barangaroo, Martin Place and Waterloo and then on to Bankstown.
The current Sydenham to Bankstown rail line will also be upgraded to suit the Metro system.
In Question Time today, the Opposition sought to clarify if the project had blown out from between $11.5-$12.5 billion to $16.8 billion — a price jump the Government did not deny.
"Do major projects have challenges? Of course they do," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
"When it comes to a major infrastructure project, we always keep the community advised every step of the way."
Ms Berejiklian also said she was "not in the mood for it, frankly" given the sombre "tone" of Parliament which has been dedicated to condolences for bushfire victims this week.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet also would not be drawn on whether the project would be millions more than planned.
"Whether it's the North West Metro [or] the South West Metro … these projects aren't being built for the sake of it, [they] will make a huge difference to people's lives, so they can get home to their families faster.
"We've seen that in north-west Sydney, we'll soon see that in south-west Sydney."
Any major blow-out in its cost of the Metro will have serious ramifications for the NSW Government's ambitious $93 billion infrastructure program.
It was revealed in the mid-year budget review last December that the state's forecast surplus shrunk from $1.016 billion to $700 million.
The unprecedented bushfire crisis is likely to further shrink that surplus.
The Treasurer has said he would be willing to take NSW into debt to fund the Government's infrastructure program.
A spokesman for Sydney Metro confirmed the proposed Metro network would proceed as planned.
"The NSW Government is fully committed to delivering Sydney Metro City and Southwest, Metro West and Metro Greater West," he said in a statement.
"The final cost of each project won't be known until services commence."
Sydney Metro City and Southwest is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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