Key capital commitments on the never-never

Key commitments by Daniel Andrews and Labor contain only little formal capital investment or tiny scoping funding in this term of government.

The $750 million Cranbourne line duplication contains just $19.2 million in a tiny dollop of “planning and development” money, with any other real spending way off in the distance past the forward estimates.

Likewise, the $530 million Hurstbridge line upgrade has just $21.5 million committed in this Budget, with any other money way out past the next election.

The Melbourne Airport Rail project is still hopelessly mired in the planning phase, with no discernible actual State Government allocation and allocations dependent entirely on Commonwealth contribution.

The Suburban Rail Loop is allocated just $50 million over the forward estimates but no further money until out past the next election. Where is the real money, when do actual works begin and where is Labor’s full promised initial $300 million for what might be an unfunded $100 billion project? Of the $300 million, $250 million is floating out in the never-never.

The estimated expenditure on North East Link according to Budget Paper No. 4, is ‘tbc’ with $15.6 billion sitting in the never-never and claimed to be funded through the Victorian Transport Fund. It appears the only substantial allocation is a Commonwealth contribution of $1.75 billion.

Victoria’s net debt is projected to increase under Daniel Andrews to 12 per cent of GSP to fund the Victorian Transport Fund to deliver North East Link; Melbourne Airport Rail; and the removal of an additional 25 level crossings by 2025. Daniel Andrews needs to come clean and release a full accounting for the Victorian Transport Fund.

The Andrews Labor Government needs to stop playing around with funny funds, sneaky budgeting tricks and opaque or non-existent allocations. It needs to come clean with the Victorian community about what is in these funds and about what the actual costs of and allocations for major transport projects really are.

David Davis MP

Shadow Minister for Public Transport (Metro) and Transport Infrastructure

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