Tenders have been called for Victoria's $24 billion rail and road construction projects.
The Victorian government has opened up engineering and planning tenders for the Melbourne Rail Link and western section of the East West Link road project.
The Rail Link includes new tunnels under the Yarra River and a rail line to Melbourne airport.
Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Transport Minister Terry Mulder briefed a room of industry figures about the plans on Wednesday.
“We are now getting on with the job by calling for industry experts to support these two transformational projects through the development and planning phases,” Mr O’Brien said.
Mr Mulder says the call for tenders means projects are on track for construction to begin by the end of next year.
Tender to be Inked Victorian Election
Contracts for the controversial East West Link road project will be inked about one month out from the Victorian election.
The Victorian government opened up engineering and planning tenders for the western section of the project and Melbourne Rail Link, part of its $24 billion transport infrastructure plan, on Wednesday.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the engineering, planning, legal and financial contracts would likely be issued in October, ahead of the election on November 29.
He said it was important for the government to “get on with it” because contracts cost more the longer they dragged on.
“We’ve got a growing population, we’ve got pressure on our road network, we’ve got pressure on our public transport network and it’s important as a government we send a clear message – we’re here to govern for the people of Victoria and we’re here to deliver these projects,” Mr Mulder told reporters.
The opposition is opposed to the coalition’s rail and road plan but Shadow Treasurer Tim Pallas says any contracts signed will still be honoured if Labor wins the election.
Mr Pallas said Labor would negotiate with and redirect successful tenders to work on projects consistent with its vision, such the Melbourne Metro city loop.
“We are not committed either to a western link, nor will we construct a shoddy second-rate rail network when Melbourne needs a genuine doubling of the city loop,” he told reporters.
The government’s Melbourne Rail Link plan includes new tunnels under the Yarra River and a rail line to Melbourne airport.