Under questioning at today’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing into the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan refused to rule out backfilling cost blowouts on Victorian major projects with Labor's COVID credit card.
Major projects like level crossing removals, the Metro Tunnel and the West Gate Tunnel have massively blown out in cost and Labor is now set to use the $24.5 billion in borrowings to fix its budget mess, despite Labor insisting the funds would only be used to deal with COVID-19 and Parliament approving the borrowings on this provision.
When asked at PAEC whether the Andrews Government's $24.5 billion loan will be used to pay for blowouts on the Metro and West Gate Tunnel projects, Jacinta Allan evasively and disingenuously replied:
“The expenditure of those funds will be accounted for in accordance with the requirements set out in the Financial Management Act and I’ve got nothing further to add to those comments about how that…”.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:
"Andrews said the billions in additional borrowings was required to deal with the COVID crisis, but it’s clearly going to Jacinta Allan’s bottomless pit of project cost overruns.
"Allan’s arrogant dismissal of Parliamentary oversight of her intentions as impertinent and unworthy of her attention shows just how out of touch Labor is.
"Andrews doubled Victoria’s debt and yet ran out of money. Now he has tripled it and still, Jacinta Allan has her hand out for more.
"Labor can’t manage major projects and they can’t manage money."