Melbourne’s $11 billion Metro Tunnel rail project will create almost 7000 jobs in Victoria at the peak of construction, 2000 more than originally predicted.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the extra jobs, which will include 500 apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets, at a press conference on Sunday.
The additional jobs do not add costs to the project, Mr Andrews said, which involves five new underground stations, with two new city stations directly connected to Flinders Street and Melbourne Central, easing the City Loop bottleneck.
Sunday’s announcement of extra jobs comes after three of the project packages were awarded or have been whittled down to the final preferred bidder.
The expression of interest for the fourth and final package has also been released.
“This is such a big project, it’s slated to be completed by 2026, so it’s a long pipeline of work,” Mr Andrews told reporters at the John Holland Rail Centre in Spotswood.
He flagged possible new projects to keep jobs going once the Metro construction boom is over because “there’s a lot of catching up to be done” for Victoria’s infrastructure.
“There will be a budget next year, just like the one this year there will be more projects announced,” Mr Andrews said.
“We’re going to keep building, keep employing and creating jobs, keep on delivering on the commitments that we made.”
The government has pledged to have at least 88 per cent of materials used for the project sourced from Australia, including 93 per cent Australian steel.
Small and medium businesses will also get 65 per cent of the work, Mr Andrews said.
“It’s also about sharing the benefits of this projects, and so many others, across the whole market,” he said.
New pre-cast concrete factories will also have to be created, one in Melbourne’s west and another in regional Victoria.