NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian insists the state government got the best price and timeline for construction of the new Sydney Football Stadium despite a $100 million budget blowout.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that construction giant John Holland will build the new Moore Park stadium after the state government rejected Lendlease's stage two offer in July.
At the time, then-NSW sports minister John Sidoti said the coalition would still deliver the stadium on time and within the $729 million budget.
But the government has now awarded a $735 million contract to John Holland for the stadium build lifting the total estimated cost for the new stadium to $828 million.
The premier on Wednesday acknowledged the cost had risen.
"Government always gives its estimate and says this is our best information on what the budget is but now we've been to market, we've been through a robust process," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.
"Three world-class companies have bid, they've given us their best price, their best timeframe and I'm confident we've got the best price."
The Liberal leader said the $828 million figure was conservative as it included contingency funds in case things went wrong.
The coalition offered assurances about the project in July after it revealed the bid from Lendlease to rebuild the stadium did not meet its expectations.
The premier admitted there had never been a construction contract in place despite a previous announcement that Lendlease was "the construction contractor".
Lendlease - which demolished the old stadium - did bid for the construction phase but the government wanted the company to do the work for less than it thought feasible without cutting corners, AAP understands.
Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday said Lendlease's offer was "very much more expensive than what we've ended up with".
Mr Sidoti in July said "the NSW government always delivers on its promises and we will deliver the Sydney Football Stadium on time and on budget".
Opposition leader Jodi McKay on Wednesday said the entire project was built on a lie.
She questioned the premier's priorities saying $100 million could buy three firefighting aircraft or five schools.
"The premier said that this is value for money - but this is gross incompetence," Ms McKay told reporters in Sydney.
"I have no confidence whatsoever that this project will be delivered on time."
Acting Sport Minister Geoff Lee said John Holland had committed to finishing the stadium in time for the 2022 NRL grand final.
"We'll be working closely with the NRL and our other important sporting partners to finalise a schedule of fixtures for the second half of 2022," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
Australian Associated Press
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