West Gate Tunnel - two years late and counting

Victorians will be the ones punished for Daniel Andrews’ incompetence, with another project over budget and over time.

Transurban has today told its shareholders the multibillion-dollar West Gate Tunnel Project will be at least two years late, confirming the incompetence of Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan and Labor’s rushed and inadequate planning for the project.

Transurban’s announcement comes on top of the Andrews Labor Government’s confirmation late last year that its signature Metro Tunnel Project is already $2 billion over budget.

Minister Allan seeks to divert the blame for these failures on anyone other than the person actually responsible, which is her.

There were always going to be soil contamination issues with this project. It includes digging through former industrial land. The Andrews Labor Government’s own Environmental Effects Statement even drew attention to potential soil contamination.

The Andrews Labor Government’s rushed and poorly planned environmental approvals of three sites to receive contaminated soil from the West Gate Tunnel were subsequently all reversed by the Environment Protection Authority, because these approvals could not withstand legal challenge.

Minster Allan ignored her own experts’ advice and pushed through with this project, and now she seeks to blame Transurban entirely for the delays for which her government is directly responsible.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:

“Minister Allan’s faux attack on Transurban, the group Labor gave the contract to, is theatre to shift responsibility from her.

“The Level Crossing Removals Project and the Metro Tunnel Project are both billions of dollars over budget and now the West Gate Tunnel is more than two years overdue.

“Labor can’t manage money and it can’t manage major projects.

“CityLink users are already paying inflated tolls to Labor’s mates at Transurban for this project that is years late and that they may never use. Is Minister Allan going to give this extra toll money back?”

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