Jacinta Allan’s extraordinary statements today that the “business and investment case” for the Suburban Rail Loop “would be completed within months” contradicts the Premier’s statement that there will be no business case.
In a press conference on 3 September 2019, Daniel Andrews said “it’s more of a detailed design case – business case we sometimes see that as whether you will or won’t. We are proceeding with this as a clear election commitment.”
The fact that the yet to be finalised business case is nothing but a sham is exposed in documents obtained under Freedom of Information which show Jacinta Allan’s extraordinary decision on 2 December 2019 to endorse the twin-bore tunnel form option, and discontinue the development of the single-bore design.
The whole point of a business case is to explore all options, weigh up the benefits and costs of all options, and make a decision. There is little point in preparing a ‘business case’ or ‘investment case’ if key strategic decisions have already been made, as is apparently the case with this $150 billion plus mega project.
Documents received under Freedom of Information show that Jacinta Allan had assessments of options and the costs of these options, but has refused to release them. Allan refers to “progressing development of the concept design, a key input into the SRL investment case”.
Jacinta Allan and the Government have fought tooth and nail against the release of these documents since September 2020 and their secrecy and redactions are currently at VCAT.
Victorians are entitled to know and to see how taxpayers’ money will be spent. They are entitled to see all the figures.
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:
“With the Suburban Rail Loop, Andrews and Allan have put the cart before the horse – deciding to proceed with the project and its design before it has even been determined if the project represents value for money for Victorians.
“Whether Labor calls it an investment case, or a detailed design case, what Victorians will not see examined is alternative, potentially much cheaper and more cost-effective options to Andrews’ pipe dream project, which is the whole point of a business case.
“Andrews and Allan are flying blind, determined to proceed with their pet project regardless of its cost and point-blank refusing to conduct a proper business case. It’s a recipe for disaster, on an unprecedented scale.”