Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today the head of Treasury, Jim Wright, had advised Treasurer Kevin Foley in May 2010 that ‘there was a significant risk that actual costs will be higher than the estimates.’
Mr Wright was giving evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee and a minute from Mr Wright to Mr Foley dated 18 May 2010 estimated the revised costs at $741 million and concluded that “the revised costings raise questions about the feasibility of the project even allowing for the availability of Commonwealth Funding.’
Mr Wright pointed out even with this revised estimate of $741 million a number of costs had been excluded from the estimates. Some of the excluded costs were FIFA overlay costs, finance and holding costs, land and legal costs and escalation in costs beyond early 2014.
‘This 18 May minute to Mr Foley also stated that “informal updates have been provided to you and your office over the past few months.” This document suggests Mr Foley had been receiving ‘informal updates’ about Adelaide Oval costs since early this year and before the election.
Other evidence given by Mr Wright included:
• Mr Wright first became aware of the blowout 11 days before the election and didn’t inform the Treasurer before the election.
• A further cost of $12.3 million for transport and pedestrian access issues mightn’t be part of the project budget but included within the Department of Transport Energy and Infrastructure budget.
• The Adelaide City Council was seeking payment of compensation if the project proceeds.
• The SMA had still had not submitted a possible project design which complied with the State budget allocation of $535 million.