Millions sunk into MAX rail
Stalled: The proposed MAX light rail project. Illustration: WA Government

The Barnett Government has awarded at least 61 contracts worth $20.2 million relating to the stalled MAX light rail project.

The contracts range in value from a few thousand dollars to $11.5 million, the latter for "project development services, including business case requirements", awarded to AECOM and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Some contracts were awarded for route and alignment studies, transport planning and project management advice, patron modelling and business case development.

Other contracts were awarded for production of material for media launches, renting office space at 140 William Street for the project team and several contracts for market research, including contracts to "gauge community and stakeholder views and understanding to assist with communications planning".

Among the biggest contracts were:

·$1.83 million to Parsons Brinckerhoff for initial concept design work for the east-west alignment from QEII Medical Centre to the Causeway in Victoria Park.

·$1.1 million to IQ Industrial for financial, commercial and business case advice.

·$718,000 to Traffic and Transport Solutions for transport planning and project management.

·$388,850 to KPMG for economics advice and analysis.

The contracts are detailed in information provided by the Government to the Upper House estimates and financial operations committee.

The Government had committed to building the MAX project, with 22km of light rail from Mirrabooka to the city and Nedlands to Victoria Park, by 2018, then 2019. It has now deferred until June 2017, after the next election, a decision on whether to proceed.

Shadow transport minister Ken Travers said the Government had wasted millions on the project "despite knowing they could not afford it from the day they promised it".

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said any assertion the money spent on the project to date had been wasted was wrong.

"While the Government has made the responsible decision to defer the project in light of changed economic circumstances this work was, and remains, an important part of developing and delivering the project," he said.

The West Australian

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