Victoria can’t yet guarantee heritage buildings will be protected during construction of the $11 billion metro rail tunnel.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan says the Metro Rail Authority doesn’t expect buildings such as the Town Hall or the Carlton Baths to suffer any structural damage during the works.
But she but fell short of guaranteeing it before the project’s Environmental Effects Statement inquiry results are handed down later in the year.
“Of course we’ve taken these issues into account, but I can’t pre-empt the outcome of the independent review and the planning process and I won’t,” she said.
The Age newspaper reported on that Melbourne City Council will voice concerns over vibrations potentially damaging many of the city’s historic buildings.
Ms Allan assured that every effort was being made to prevent damage and disruption during construction and that the tunnel’s engineers are analysing any potential impacts above and below the ground.
Opposition transport spokesman David Hodgett said Victoria “can’t afford” to get the project wrong, as it will serve Melburnians for years to come.
Construction will start early next year, with the project to be completed by 2026.