BAILLIEU 17 MONTH-LONG DITHER ON REGIONAL RAIL LINK
The Victorian Auditor-General has found the Baillieu Government has failed to provide a new budget for the Regional Rail Link (RRL) project for 17 months.
Shadow Minister for Major Projects, Tim Pallas, said the Report on the Annual Financial Report stated the Baillieu Government’s inaction could have significant impact on the outcome of the project.
“Mr Baillieu has no excuse for his failure to undertake the basic planning to keep the RRL project on track,” Mr Pallas said.
“The commercial negotiations were completed over six months ago and the Government’s failure to produce a project budget is both lazy and financially irresponsible.
“The risk to the project and the state’s finances are laid bare in this report – Mr Baillieu’s dithering is undermining the projects efficient and transparent delivery and the capacity of the Auditor-General to do his job.”
The Auditor-General’s report states:
‘A current budget is an important element of effective project management and its absence means that monitoring, accountability and the ability to achieve value-for-money outcomes from the Regional Rail Link project are diminished.’ (p23)
Mr Pallas said it was time for Mr Baillieu to stop the cynical and indefensible delay and provide the budget for the project.
“The Federal Labor Government has signed up to the project and the Baillieu Government has had two years to do the same,” Mr Pallas said.
“Until the budget is settled, Victorian taxpayers will be left in the dark as to how much of their money is being invested in this vital project.
“Similarly Victorians have every right to dispute the fabricated project cots blowouts floated by Government ministers when they haven’t made the effort to explain them to Victorians.
“It comes as no surprise to people in the western suburbs and those in our regional centres that Mr Baillieu is dithering on this important project.
“After two years of inaction, it is time for some action from Mr Baillieu – a project budget would be a good start.”