sydney light rail tram public transport
(Image: AAP/Steven Saphore)

A Sydney bar is so certain the city’s troubled trams won’t run on time they’re offering free drinks if the light rail makes its deadline.

The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room, a swanky pub in the heritage-listed Johnson’s Building, sits along the tram line on the corners for George and Grosvenor streets. Having endured the hammering and chaos since construction began in 2015 — nearly five years and multiple missed deadlines ago — owner Fraser Short has had enough. “I’m so confident that it won’t run on time that I’ll shout the whole city a drink if the tram makes it from Randwick to the stop outside The Morrison with a cargo of paying passengers by Christmas,” he wrote on the event page called “free beer if it makes it here” (and for the wine lovers, “free wine if it makes it on time”). 

The project has been riddled with issues from the get-go. Announced in 2012, the original completion date has bounced between December 2016, April 2017, March 2019, March 2020, and May 2020, before getting back on track. The current projected completion date is December 2019. The NSW government has faced legal action by the winning contracting company for misrepresenting utilities, a class action by businesses affected by the construction, and nearly $3 billion in cost blowouts. 

After all that, it’s fair to assume Sydneysiders deserve a free beer. 

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

What a year. Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey