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RRL Project in Limbo

posted Feb 3, 2011, 10:21 PM by Site Editor   [ updated Feb 3, 2011, 10:59 PM ]
The Transport Minister, Terry Mulder, is currently reviewing the RRL project and no decision has yet been taken on the future of the project.

The following are direct transcripts of the Minister's comments this morning on the John Faine morning show, ABC 774 radio (download full interview).

"The project is currently being re-profiled, as they would say, because the federal government has pulled $500m out of this term of government, pushed $500m out to 15/16 (fin yr). But also, when I took over the role as minister, I was presented with a document that showed me that the project had blown out by $700M plus $180m for level crossing upgrades at Sunshine - or, grade separations - that hadn't been included, plus unfunded rolling stock." ...

"The fact of the matter is no decision has been made at this time. As you could understand, Regional Rail Link, the Department of Transport, Treasury and Finance are working through the project." ...

"It's going to be re-profiled. We don't have the capacity within our budget to take up what the federal government is pulling out. Well, pushed-back, re-profiled - there's a number of options that are being looked at at the moment - re-scoped, we've got to work out what we can afford to do."

See also, an article from yesterday's Australian Financial Review, 'Rail blowout sparks row over projects', by Mathew Dunckley

"Federal and state government co-operation on the funding of big infrastructure projects has suffered a significant setback as a cost blowout of up to $1 billion threatens to scuttle a proposal to build a major new rail line in Victoria. The Australian Financial Review has learned that the $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link in Melbourne is under threat after the massive blowout. ... The cost blowout, combined with the federal government's repeated stalling on the provision of its funds, has prompted the state government to reconsider the project's viability."(download full text)