The Queensland government will dismiss the 10-member independent board overseeing the state’s largest infrastructure project as the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project moves into the construction phase.
Cross River Rail minister Kate Jones made the announcement earlier this week, a move she says will ensure the delivery of the major infrastructure project as “on track and on budget”.
The project, a 10.2 kilometre rail line, including 5.9 kilometres of twin tunnels, and will comprise four underground stations.
Jones, who replaced deputy premier Jackie Trad in the project role at the end of last year after Trad's Woolloongabba investment property debacle, said she had been reviewing the structure of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.
Jones announced the reform package to ensure contractual commitments on the Cross River Rail project are delivered, the decision comes after complaints were made about the contractor CPB.
Jones, who will take direct control of the Brisbane Cross River Rail project, said that Queensland will “heed the lessons” from southern states experiencing contractual disputes delaying infrastructure projects.
In a statement, Jones said CPB was “trying to weasel its way out of its contract” with the Victorian government on the West Gate Tunnel.
“I want to ensure I have the right people with the right skills to deliver this project and hold CPB and Pulse Consortium to account,” she said.
The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will now report directly to the minister, with a compliance unit to be established, ensuring the commitments made by the contractor are met during its construction.
The board, which was due to expire in April this year, will be restructured as the project transitions from procurement to the construction phase.
As part of its next phase, Queensland company Wagners was awarded a $40 million contract to supply precast concrete segments on the project, last week.
Work on the Cross River Rail to date, includes more than 140 piles sunk into the site to stabilise the station box during excavation.
Excavation has hit a depth of roughly five metres with a further 27-metres to go before the station box base level is reached.
While, eight of the 132 piles have been sunk for the temporary ramp that the tunnel boring machines will use to access the tunnel site.