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Suburban Rail Loop proceeds without business case

“The truth that they haven’t performed that’s an instance of gorgeous hypocrisy and likewise opens Victorian taxpayers and the Victorian funds as much as huge danger.”

In 2014, newly elected Premier Daniel Andrews tore up the Napthine Liberal authorities’s contract to construct the East West Hyperlink, arguing it was a “canine of a venture”, with site visitors projections shrouded in secrecy and “plucked out of skinny air”.

The Age revealed final yr that the Suburban Rail Loop was conceived in a secretive process led by consultants at PwC that shut out most of cupboard and the then-head of the Transport division.

After a string of funding scandals underneath the previous Morrison federal authorities, Albanese received the Might election promising to take politics out of big-project funding and restore Infrastructure Australia’s function in guiding the place money ought to circulation.

An Andrews authorities spokeswoman stated Victorians “voted for the Suburban Rail Loop” on the 2018 election and that “Infrastructure Australia has backed that in” by itemizing suburban connectivity as a precedence venture.

“If we waited for Infrastructure Australia to finalise all their evaluation processes earlier than beginning work on initiatives, then the Metro Tunnel can be years away, 65 stage crossings wouldn’t have been eliminated, and we might not be constructing Melbourne Airport Rail,” she stated.

The Andrews government’s planned Suburban Rail Loop.

The Andrews authorities’s deliberate Suburban Rail Loop.Credit score:

The state authorities has stated the cost-benefit ratio for the primary two levels means that for each $1 spent on the venture, between $1.10 and $1.70 can be returned.

A 400-page funding case launched final yr confirmed simply two sections of the road within the east and north-east might value $50 billion and wouldn’t be accomplished till 2053.

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The second proposed part of the loop would run from Field Hill to Melbourne Airport, which might be adopted by a remaining hyperlink by way of the western suburbs to Werribee.

Michael Buxton, professor of Atmosphere and Planning at RMIT, stated it was exceptional the state authorities dedicated to the venture months earlier than the 2018 election with out understanding how a lot it will value or contemplating options.

“Infrastructure Australia and Infrastructure Victoria are supposedly set as much as assess main initiatives and provides them a precedence and to supply an evaluation of whether or not they’re price pursuing,” he stated.

“[Victoria] didn’t do this – it simply dedicated itself to the venture no matter what anyone else thinks.”

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