Nothing Happening at Infrastructure Victoria – Nothing! 6

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
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Victoria’s new $10 million-a-year infrastructure body hasn’t looked at a single one of the state’s major projects.

Infrastructure Victoria was set up to guide the state’s infrastructure agenda and advise on projects, but chief executive Michael Masson told a parliamentary committee it could only do so when the government asked.

So far, Labor hasn’t asked for advice on the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Rail project, the $5.5 billion Western Distributor, the level crossing removal program, the controversial Skyrail proposal or the need for a potential second container port.

“We’re getting on with building the projects that Victorians voted for, in a more transparent manner than any government before us,” a government spokesman said.

The government decided to start work on its major election promises straight away, rather than waiting a year or two for Infrastructure Victoria to be set up to analyse them.

But neither the Western Distributor nor the details of the Skyrail project were taken to the election – they were announced afterwards.

Labor also promised to ask Infrastructure Victoria to decide whether a second container port should be built near Geelong or in Hastings.

That hasn’t happened yet.

Shadow treasurer Michael O’Brien said Premier Daniel Andrews had been in power for 18 months, and Infrastructure Victoria had been in place since October.

“If Daniel Andrews believed in his infrastructure projects, why not submit them to Infrastructure Victoria? Why keep this watchdog muzzled?” Mr O’Brien told reporters.

“He’s now deliberately kept this body away from all his major projects.”

Victoria did send details of the Melbourne Metro, Murray Basin Rail and Western Distributor to Infrastructure Australia for analysis.

But while Infrastructure Australia can assess projects it thinks are needed, Infrastructure Victoria has to wait for the government to refer them.

The body costs $10 million a year and staff are working on a 30-year infrastructure strategy.

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  1. Ian Welsh

    Whilst there is something to be said with getting on with the job, the government's failure thus far to ask Infrastructure Victoria to investigate a second port is not encouraging.

    Infrastructure Victoria was a welcome and necessary reform. Making the most of this important reform will be crucial.

  2. Barry B.

    This is almost a criminal level of neglect on the part of the incumbent government – Melbourne in particular is in urgent need of transportation infrastruture upgrades.

  3. Bruce Christopher

    I think it was set up for filming the next series of Utopia on the ABC.

  4. General Jason

    A government spokesman said. "We're getting on with building the projects that Victorians voted for, in a more transparent manner than any government before us," This rep obviously cares more about spin than the truth. Neither the Western Distributor nor the details of the Skyrail project as an elevated railway line versus being a trench were taken to the election. Be brave Premier, give these projects to Infrastructure Victoria so they have something to do and they can make some recommendations to ensure waste and mistakes are kept to a minimum.

  5. Ian Urquhart

    Since this side of politics, prior to the last state election, was so vociferous in relation to the "payback" of the East West tunnel link, one would have thought they would be very open on any project they put forward – Or isn't payback relevant anymore? East West pipeline and Desal plant come first to mind, as does the backflip of Bracks when he went to an election claiming the Scoresby Bypass wouldn't be tolled, then immediately called it Eastlink, tolled it and retired from parliament to avoid the smashing that he deserved. I can smell another performance similar.

  6. Les Williams

    If you think transportation infrastructure is bad in Melbourne — try Brisbane