Sydney Stadium builder can't sue because it 'failed objectives', Minister says


July 27, 2019 18:55:22

The company originally contracted to build the $729 million Sydney stadium then booted off the project has no grounds to sue the NSW State Government because it “failed objectives”, the Sports Minister says.

Key points:

  • The ABC revealed yesterday Lendlease has been booted off the project over a suspected cost blowout
  • The NSW Government has guaranteed the project will come in on time and on budget, regardless of the decision
  • NSW Labor said the process has been “a shambles”

As revealed by the ABC yesterday, multinational construction company Lendlease, which completed the “stage 1” demolition of the former stadium, will no longer be a part of the build — or stage 2 — after failing to meet the Government’s objectives.

Speaking about the decision today, Sports Minister John Sidoti said Lendlease could not sue the Government because of its failure to meet those objectives.

Mr Sidoti would not reveal the “objectives” Lendlease failed to meet. However the ABC understands the builder was dumped over a cost blowout.

“The facts are very-simple,” Mr Sidoti said.

“It’s a two-stage process and they haven’t met the objectives of the Government, so we’re looking for someone who can.”

The Sydney stadium re-build is part of the State Government’s $2 billion stadiums package it took to the March state election.

It has spent $360m on Bankwest Stadium at Parramatta, which opened in April, and is promising $810 million for a refurbishment of Olympic Stadium in Homebush.

It also spent $200m buying back Olympic Stadium from a private operator.

The talk of cost blowouts has led some political watchers to draw comparisons to the Sydney CBD light rail project.

The NSW Government last month settled a year-long legal dispute with construction company Acciona over the project, agreeing to a $576 million compensation payout. It brought the total cost to more than $3 billion — almost double the original $1.6 billion budget.

Mr Sidoti said there were “lots of figures being speculated” about the cost of the stadium project — and the suspected cost blowout from Lendlease.

But he gave a guarantee the project would come in at its original $729 million budget.

“The time frames have not changed, the costings have not changed,” he said.

“It will be delivered on time and on budget.”

NSW Labor has described the process as “a shambles”.

The ground is home for NRL side Sydney Roosters. Coach Trent Robinson said although the team would like to get back to its home turf sooner, he trusted the State Government’s decision.

“Obviously [to get back sooner] is the ideal,” he said.

“But I know they’ve done that [changed builders] for a reason, and budget’s been a big talk in the re-building of [Sydney stadium].”

The project is set to be complete in 2023.






First posted

July 27, 2019 16:09:42

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