These are infrastructure/legal/finance people, not actually people with
expertise in light rail.
Members of a secretive advisory board for the under fire light rail are
being paid up to $7000 per meeting by the NSW government — but refuse to
tell anyone what they’re talking about.
The Daily Telegraph can reveal that since 2014 Transport for NSW has
splashed out at least $710,000 of taxpayers’ money paying the three
independent members of the Sydney Light Rail Advisory Board.
Despite the big bucks being shelled out, the board’s minutes and agendas
are not publicly available because of “commercial sensitivities”, according
to a spokesman for Transport Minister Andrew Constance. And it does not
publish an annual report.
More than $710,000 of taxpayers money have been paid to three independent
members of a secret light rail advisory board. Picture John Grainger
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Chair Ron Finlay, an infrastructure lawyer, receives $70,000 per year to
sit on the board. Independent members Dr Kerry Schott and Penny Graham
pocket $40,000 a year.
Last year the board had just 10 meetings, some of which members attended
It comes as CBD businesses brace for another disrupted Christmas period
caused by the bumbling light rail project, which is running more than a
year late and $500 million over budget.
Established in 2014, according to Transport for NSW the advisory board is
meant to provide “independent expert advice to government” on the project.
Kerry Schott pocketed $40,000 a year. Picture: Aaron Francis
In October, Ms Graham left the board which has since had its role
“The Sydney Light Rail Advisory Board, which comprises two independent
members, will continue to provide advice to the Secretary of TfNSW as
needed on critical project decisions,” a Transport for NSW spokesman said.
He did not answer whether the remaining members had their pay reduced as a
result of the board’s reduced role.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay said the amount the board was
paid was exorbitant: “We have no idea what this organisation has done … you
would think … they would be responsible for transparency on the project.”
On Tuesday, 4 December 2018 09:38:01 UTC+11, Greg Sutherland wrote:
> SECRET LIGHT RAIL BOARD PAID $710K OF TAXPAYER CASH
> Members of a secretive advisory board for the under fire light rail are
> being paid up to $7000 per meeting by the NSW government — but refuse to
> tell anyone what they’re talking about, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.