Seven years ago, the Andrews Labor Government committed to delivering the O’Herns Road upgrade with a price tag of $40.7 million to the taxpayer and said it would be completed by 2019.
The 2016-17 State Budget points to funding of $78 million for the project subject to equal funding from the Commonwealth – a significant fact Daniel Andrews did not disclose during the election campaign.
Seven years after Daniel Andrews and Labor said the O’Herns Road upgrade would cost the taxpayer $40.7 million, it has cost the taxpayer $105 million – a blowout of $64.3 million, more than one and a half times what Daniel Andrews said it would cost.
Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan also said it would be finished by June 2019, but it was finished only a few weeks ago on 31 August 2021 – more than two years late.
In their haste to ‘get on with it’, they hid from the public that the project was contingent on equal funding from the Commonwealth, failed to properly scope, failed to properly manage, failed to properly control costs and failed to keep their word.
Daniel Andrews in an interview on 29 June 2021 said of his government’s abject failure to contain costs, “Things cost what they ultimately cost” and “Anyone that’s done a kitchen renno for heaven’s sake knows”.
This is not a kitchen renovation, Premier. The public have a right to expect this money not be wasted and squandered, especially on a critical road project committed to seven years ago that is still not delivered, and costing $64.3 million more than the original quote.
Victorians are being let down by Labor having no plan and with budget blowouts in the billions across major projects, constant waste and mismanagement, our economic recovery is at risk.
As stated by the Shadow Treasurer, David Davis:
“Despite Daniel Andrews saying “I say what I do and I do what I say” it is clear he and Labor don’t. The O’Herns Road upgrade promised seven years ago is $64.3 million over budget and has only just been delivered two years late.
“Labor’s failure to plan, scope, manage and control costs on the O’Herns Road Upgrade Project means $64.3 million less is available to support all Victorians through the COVID-19 crisis and during our recovery.”