Victorians bear more cost blowouts to public projects

July 11, 2024 08:55 | News

Victorians face growing budget overruns in more than 100 government infrastructure projects, with school and public transport upgrades, office refurbishments and rectification works costing millions more.

The state government updated its guide on cost escalations in January 2023 to address the volatility in construction project input costs, according to a Department of Treasury and Finance briefing note obtained by the opposition under Freedom of Information.

The guide, released on Thursday, was developed in response to ongoing blowouts across infrastructure projects in the state but a government spokesman has said it was not extended beyond December 2023.

Among the increases, which have seen costs balloon by hundreds of millions of dollars, is a $6.3 million blowout for the design and construction of a new glasshouse to replace three dilapidated ones in Horsham.

The Ballarat railway station upgrade blew out more than $4.3 million, an extra $1.5 million was required for security upgrades at Horsham Magistrates Court and more than $1.4 million to upgrade the outdoor facade of a government building in Geelong.

Minor works on the deputy premier’s office saw costs escalate by $176,000 while an extra $100,000 was needed for a refurbishment of the police commissioner’s office and $636,000 on emergency and exit lighting upgrades at government offices.

The brief also identified that the government’s major infrastructure pipeline contributed to the increases in costs.

Opposition finance spokeswoman Jess Wilson warned financial mismanagement had consequences for which Victorians are now paying the price.

“This new blowout guide is an admission Labor cannot manage money and has lost control of delivery of projects of all sizes,” she said.

The vast majority of major projects are on time and on budget, a government spokesman said.

“Infrastructure projects across Australia and around the world experienced supply and cost challenges during and after the COVID pandemic,” he said.

“This Practice Note was specifically developed to respond to changing market dynamics and increased pressures on the supply chain as a result of the pandemic and did not apply after December 2023.”

Latest stories from our writers

Don't pay so you can read it. Pay so everyone can!

Don't pay so you can read it.
Pay so everyone can!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This