Australian governments should rethink their « mega projects » – those worth over $ 1 billion – as they search for infrastructure – recovering from the Coronavirus, or risking the delivery of a « herd of white elephants, » he warned New report
The Andrews government’s three largest projects – the Northeast Link, the West Gate Tunnel, and the Railroad Connection to the Metro Tunnel – will cost at least $ 11 billion more than originally promised.
Artist impression of the Extended Eastern Highway, part of the Northeast Link Project Credit: Victorian Government
State governments nationwide are implementing rapid transportation projects in pursuit of an infrastructure-led recovery from the decline of the Coronavirus, but a number of Victorian transport experts argue that spending billions on large-scale transportation projects envisioned before the pandemic is meaningless because the crisis Population growth has slowed and fewer people will be heading to cities as work from home becomes part of « COVID-normal »
The Gratan Institute report – The Rise of Mega Projects: Calculating the Costs – found that a decade ago there was one transportation project in Australia worth more than $ 5 billion today there are nine and a total cost has already blown up to $ 24 billion
Lead author Marion Terrell, director of the institute’s transportation and cities program, writes that governments are « too quick to waste our money on what may turn out to be a herd of white elephants »
The report states that there is electoral benefit from announcing mega projects Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, for example, announced the famous and costly $ 50 billion Suburban Rail Loop project in the lead up to the 2018 state elections But the report warned that « projects may end up costing more or provide less benefits than expected. »
« Taxpayers will get more profits for their money if politicians move away from what they like to call mega projects » nation building « and » shaping cities « , and instead spend more on upgrading existing infrastructure and social infrastructure such as care for the elderly and mental healthcare. » Mrs. Terrell said.
The cost of the North East Link in Melbourne was $ 6 billion when it was announced by then Minister of Roads Tim Palace in 2008 while still following the same path, it has expanded greatly since then and is now expected to cost $ 15 8 billion
The West Gate Tunnel was supposed to cost $ 5 billion and will now cost at least $ 6 7 billion and the Metro Tunnel of $ 11 billion is set to cost another billions as well
A government spokeswoman said that the Victorians voted for the Northeast Link in the 2018 elections
« We do not apologize for working side by side with our engineers to fulfill our electoral commitments that create jobs and advance projects that our growing country needs, » she said.
Victoria is not unique. Inland railways from Melbourne to Brisbane cost $ 4 4 billion in 2010 and now cost nearly $ 10 billion & Southwest Sydney’s public transportation project was supposed to cost $ 11 billion and will now cost At least $ 15 5000000000
The report recommends that governments constantly disclose to parliament the fundamental changes in costs and expected benefits, as listed companies must disclose to the stock exchange, and says that governments should better learn lessons from previous projects.
Government transportation infrastructure spokesperson David Davis said the report drew « reasonably » attention to proper planning, scoping, and process as major weaknesses in the Andrews government.
“They also correctly point to the need for smaller, targeted, ready-to-move projects that are more manageable, less likely to get in trouble, and most importantly, job creation now,” he said. “The pandemic requires a start now, not massive schemes that take Years to achieve them, there is a need now for smaller, targeted, sweeping projects and creating job opportunities. «
The government refused to disclose the extent of the bombing of the metro tunnel project, as its spokeswoman said that discussions with contractors are continuing « while we continue this vital project that will provide more trains, in many cases. »
It was confirmed last month that taxpayers will waive additional funds to cover the increased costs of the $ 11 billion metro tunnel project after striking a deal with the project’s contractors.
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Clay Lucas Senior Reporter on The Age Clay has worked in The Age since 2005, covering urban affairs, transportation, state and local government policy, and workplace relations in The Age and Sunday Age
Project, Megaproject, Northeast Link, Cost Overrun, Government, Infrastructure
World News – African Union – Mega transportation projects are unnecessary and wasted, according to the report
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