Transport Infrastructure Minister, Jacinta Allan’s announcement that the Andrews Labor Government has opened Expressions of Interest for the Suburban Rail Loop Stage 1 Initial and Early Works package raises more questions than it answers.
What is the detailed design? Where are the station entrances? What is $2.2 billion buying?
Where is the business case demonstrating the Suburban Rail Loop will deliver Victorians value for money?
Where is the consultation with affected businesses, councils and communities?
How much in total will Stage 1 cost to construct, or is the Government still expecting Victorians to believe that the entire Suburban Rail Loop project will cost $50 billion, when $150 to $200 billion is closer to the mark?
Will new taxes or levies be placed on households and businesses in the vicinity of the proposed new stations and if so, which households and businesses and how much and for how long?
The Auditor General came down hard on the Andrews Labor Government for proceeding with its initial level crossing removal project without an overall business case and identified a consequent budget blowout of up to $3.3 billion.
How much more money will be wasted on Daniel Andrews’ Suburban Rail Loop, which has no business case and no calculation that it will even be a value for money investment of Victorians scarce capital?
Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:
“Jacinta Allan has the opposite of the Midas touch turning Victorians’ gold into lead, with huge cost blowouts, delays or both being the sad record of every major transport infrastructure project for which she is responsible.
“The difference with the Suburban Rail Loop is the likely potential losses are an order of magnitude higher.
“Proceeding with the Suburban Rail Loop in the absence of thorough cost benefit analysis and a proper business case is the height of irresponsibility and Victorians will pay a high price for Labor’s foolishness.”