THE cost of Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, Queensland’s largest infrastructure project, has increased by $A 960m ($US 647.5m) from $A 5.4bn, the state government has said. The line will also open three months later than expected in the first quarter of 2026.

State transport minister, Mr Mark Bailey, says that an extra $A 848m is needed to cover rising costs while a further $A 112m has been allocated to acquire additional land at Roma Street in the centre of Brisbane.

“This is absolutely unavoidable; the economic headwinds are very strong,” Bailey says.

Cross River Rail involves building a 10.2km north-south line from Bowen Hills to Dutton Park with a 5.9km twin-bore tunnel and four new underground stations. The Pulse consortium, which includes Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, UGL, BAM, Ghella and DIF was awarded the public-private partnership (PPP) Tunnel, Stations and Development contract in July 2019. Track has now been laid in all tunnel sections.

The state government says Cross River Rail is still the “best managed” major infrastructure project in Australia. “That [increased] figure comes in at just under $A 1bn, when you look at Sydney, the Sydney Metro is over by $A 6bn,” Bailey says. “It’s unavoidable to have impacts from the Covid pandemic, from La Niña, the Ukraine war and supply chain impacts.”

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