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The NSW government is accustomed to unveiling pieces of its multi-billion-dollar infrastructure puzzle, but a recently leaked report has shown how money could be drying up.

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott has suggested the answer could be lowering passenger train fares, and not the opposite.

“If there’s economic modelling there that suggests a reduction in train public transport fares would see a massive increase in usage and therefore an increase in revenues then that’s something I would have a discussion with cabinet colleagues about,” Elliott said.

Elliott, currently caught in a long-running dispute over Sydney’s brand New Intercity Train Fleet, is calling for an audit after receiving a $1 billion quote for safety upgrades.

“I don’t believe it’s going to be a billion dollars, that’s why I wanted an independent audit,” he said.

The $2 billion New Intercity Fleet is currently stuck in storage as Rail, Tram and Bus Union members refuse to operate it without safety amendments.

The union says passengers would be at risk from crucial blind spots in surveillance, meaning they could have undetected accidents or fall into the gap between the train and platform and staff would be unable to hear them.

The audit on that billion-dollar upgrade figure is due back before negotiations between government and the union resume on Thursday.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrotett stepped in for a meeting to smooth the waters earlier today.

The Australian Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union have promised no strike action until after the Government has made a formal decision.

“The Premier is going to go away and do his own fact checking and his own determination once he sees the actual costings,” said the union’s executive member Alex Claassens.

Premier Perrotett is at the end of his tether.

“This has to come to a head,” he said.

“We’ve had those trains sitting there for over 12 months.

“I want those trains on the tracks.”

For the past five weeks, the government and union have been negotiating an interim operating model to get the trains into service.

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