The future of Victoria’s mammoth transport projects could be on the line amid concerns the state’s next budget won’t stretch far enough to cover costs.
Acting Premier Jacinta Allan, who also holds the transport portfolio, gave the insight at a metro tunnel site on Thursday morning.
It comes after it was revealed one in 10 ongoing staff would be cut from government departments – the equivalent of more than 5000 workers.
“No decisions have been made which makes it impossible to rule things in and out until the Treasurer hands down his budget,” Ms Allan said.
“When we have challenges on our projects, we have transparently talked to those challenges and worked through those challenges.
Jacinta Allan has spoken out on the immediate future of transport projects amid staffing cuts. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Valeriu Campan
“From time to time, a project like the Metro Tunnel has needed that additional investment because to not build these projects would see these transport connections not built.”
Ms Allan said many projects were “delivered on time and on budget” despite cuts.
“There is no doubt there is some additional pressures on budgets across the country,” she said.
The final tracks have now been laid on the Metro Tunnel, which marks enough construction for test trains to be run at Parkville Station later this year.
Workers laid the final lengths of steel rail on the tracks earlier this month, marking the culmination of nine months of work along the twin 9km tunnels and stations.
The final tracks have now been laid on the Metro Tunnel. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Crosling
The process began in mid-2022 when crews started installing 4000 high-performance concrete panels to create an even base for the rail and ensure it was properly aligned.
The panels were cast in 300 different shapes to match the curvature and elevation of the tunnels as they wind from Kensington to South Yarra up to nearly 40m underground.
Meanwhile, work will continue to fit out the five new stations with lifts, escalators, security systems, CCTV, passenger information displays and emergency phones.
Once complete, the Metro Tunnel Project will transport more than half a million extra passengers each week during peak times.
Read related topics:Melbourne