Victoria: Crossing closure extra costs could be AUD 1.0 billion

21 Sep

Having successfully leased the Port of Melbourne to the private sector for AUD 9.7 billion, the State of Victoria has now put a further eleven Melbourne conurbation level crossing closure projects out to tender.

The State Government is intent on having 37 level crossing elimination projects underway or completed in advance of the 2018 state elections. However, the state’s Public Transport Minister has warned that eliminating 50 level crossings in the Melbourne metropolitan region may now cost between AUD 6.0-7.0 billion, this is up to AUD 1.0 billion than previously anticipated. subsequent “clarification” has said that the level crossing elimination budget remains between AUD 5.0-6.0 billion with the balance to be charged to the budget for station reconstruction and other consequential rail network improvements

However, the money coming from the Federal Government’s asset recycling scheme bonus payment of 15% of the sum raised from the lease of the Port of Melbourne has been halved to AUD 877.5 million because the state government-federal government bilateral agreement was not concluded before June 30th, 2016. A state cry of foul appears justified.

The incoming 2014 labor administration pledged to eliminate 50 greater Melbourne urban level crossings within two four-year parliamentary terms with 20 to be gone by 2018.

 

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