‘Infrastructure minister refutes claims it's being adjusted to suit government's agenda.’

“The infrastructure minister has promised he'll publish a report reviewing the Island's railways as soon as possible, and in its entirety.

The report, conducted by consultants SYSTRA, is assessing the economic value of the railways.

It was due in September, and while Tim Crookall says it'll be available soon, he couldn't be pressed for an exact date.

He also had to defend suggestions the report is being adjusted to suit government's agenda.”

Mr Crookall's comments from Tuesday’s (October 31st) sitting of the House of Keys are reproduced as follows:

The Minister: The Department does not have the finalised report yet and it will need to be reviewed by the Department prior to publication. But we fully intend to publish as soon as we can. There may need to be a redaction for some commercially sensitive information or to clarify some of the detail prior to publication. I do appreciate how much this review is anticipated so the intention is to make it publicly available as quickly as possible.

Mrs Caine: Could the Minister confirm whether he has seen an early draft of the report and whether any changes were requested by the Department and also given the chief minister’s statement to us honourable members in another place in July, that reform pathways had been identified for the airport, housing and heritage railways, is the Department trying to get Systra to deliver a report that chimes, coincides and supports whatever future the Department has in mind for Heritage railways?

The Minister: The report is the report and we’re not trying to change anything. With regard to changing it to suit the Department, I absolutely refute that … We commissioned this report and we’ll absolutely use it to best intentions. Having been through the draft report and we have the proper report as we want to be delivered it will be done… [Inaudible]

The Minister: If you’ll let me finish… We will deliver it just about as it is. There will be very very few changes to it. It is literally just punctuation and grammar and things like that… [Inaudible]

The Minister: Mr Speaker can I just take the honourable member to challenge there. He made some comment there which I didn’t hear but which I think…

The Speaker: I’m afraid I didn’t hear it either. Final supplementary Mrs Caine.

The Minister: Very disingenuous…

Mrs Caine: Can he confirm the cost of the report when it is published and also can you tell us what period the report is covering.

The Minister: Mr Speaker, the cost of the report I will happily give that once we have it from the consultants, as for the finish date, I’m not sure what that finish date was I think it was just before my arrival at the Department but I’m not sure on that date.

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