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We'll all pay for the M5 computer glitch mess

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Invisible, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Messages: 9,091
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    TAXPAYERS will fork out about $5 million to replace the M5 East tunnel computer after two recent glitches brought the city to a standstill.

    Roads Minister Michael Daley said taxpayers would be lumped with the bill because the dud operating system was failing Sydney's motorists.

    Three weeks ago a computer error forced 20,000 drivers on to the streets of surrounding suburbs during the peak period, forcing Mr Daley to threaten to rip up the contract of tunnel operator Belfinger Berger.

    A similar closure locked down the city's roads in June.

    Eight hospitalised after tunnel pileup

    "In terms of the long-term welfare of the tunnel - and keeping in mind it comes back to the taxpayers of NSW when the (tunnel operator) contract runs out in 2011 - I wanted to make sure that when that tunnel came back to the taxpayers all of the systems were state of the art," Mr Daley told a budget estimates committee yesterday.

    It would cost between $3 million and $5 million to overhaul the tunnel management system and keep the road open, industry experts say.

    M5 chaos costs 27,000 sick days

    Belfinger Berger would also "contribute" to the upgrade of the tunnel systems, Mr Daley said.

    RTA chief executive Les Wielinga yesterday hinted that the tunnel's operations needed to be simplified. "The computer systems in the M5 East are seven or eight years old and they are fairly complex," he said.

    He said there were "about 20 different systems that manage the tunnel" including the water sprinklers, CCTV, air quality and traffic incident management.

    "What we are doing is making sure we upgrade that," Mr Wielinga said.
    Opposition roads spokesman Duncan Gay said taxpayers would be lumped with more pain.

    After the most recent closure, operator Belfinger Berger agreed to put an engineer on site 24 hours a day to deal with the ongoing problems.

    It was also asked to fund a new back-up computer system to fix short-term problems.