Victorians are right to be concerned that Labor is planning to double state debt, given its history of cost blowouts and mismanagement. We have seen a billion-dollar blowout in the cost of the West Gate Tunnel and $1.2 billion wasted to rip up the east–west link contract. In the first week of this Parliament we are again seeing evidence of Labor’s inability to appropriately manage and plan projects with the release of the Parliamentary Budget Office’s assessment of election costings, which went through individual commitments made by parties and assessed the cost that was attributed to them.
In relation to two major projects announced by Labor in the lead-up to the election, while the duplication of the Cranbourne rail line between Dandenong and Cranbourne was costed by Labor at $757 million, the PBO has in fact indicated that the cost will be more than $1 billion, which is some $250 million more than the cost assessed—a full 30 per cent blowout. Likewise with the Hurstbridge line upgrade, which Labor claimed will cost $530 million; the PBO has in fact said the cost will be nearly $700 million, which is an extra $168 million, or a 31 per cent increase.
We are seeing through the PBO process that there are very clear indications that commitments made by Labor are unaffordable and are poorly costed, and with a doubling of debt we are going to see a dramatic deterioration in the state’s financial position as a result of Labor’s recklessness.