The Andrews Labor Government has been caught out deceiving Victorians on its plagued Metro Tunnel project, with the Auditor-General handing down its scathing report intoPhase 2 of the project today.
Despite Daniel Andrews describing High Capacity Signalling (HCS) in July 2017 as”cutting edge technology that will get people home safer and sooner, every day” and that would “mean more trains, less waiting”,the Auditor-General’s report found that Rail Projects Victoria had significantly descoped the rollout of the technology.
More than 25 kilometres, or around a third of the previously announced coverage, will not have the HCS system in place, significantly reducing the speed of trains in those areas and delivering more delays and longer train journeys.
Alarmingly, the report found the Andrews Labor Government ignored the significant risk that electromagnetic interference from trains could have on medical and scientific equipment at major hospital precincts in the area, specifically Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines.
To avoid serious threats to patient care, hospitals may be forced to move the technology to an entirely different location, or purchase and install new equipment, which could take up to 12 months. Otherwise, trains would be required to slow down significantly when passing through the Parkville and State Library stations.
The report also found that the project had blown out by $3.58 billion, a further increase on the reported figure in the recent state budget.
Despite already draining 98 per cent of its contingency funds, RPV advised the Andrews Labor Government that further funding would be needed to deliver the full scope of the project.
Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Matt Bach, said the Andrews Labor Government could not be trusted to deliver the project on time and on budget.
“Every major project that the Andrews Labor Government undertakes has failed to stick to a deadline and budget,” Mr Bach said.
“Jacinta Allen’s attempt to blame COVID for such significant blow outs and delays is deceiving Victorians, and it must be called out.
“Labor has shown time and time again that it can’t manage major projects and it is sending our state broke.
“The Liberals and Nationals will audit every one of Labor’s major projects to ensure Victorians are getting the best value for money, and the waste and management is stopped.”