Not necessarily disregarding the project, just seemingly all the infrastructure projects are escalating in price dramatically over the past few years. Yes, major projects are bound to cost more than initially expected, but the cost per kilometre on the projects seems to get much higher each year. Whether it's a constraint in the industry and other factors like covid-19, I can understand. But a fair bit of it, is sticking with lots of major projects all at once, which might be not the optimal approach to getting infrastructure done.
Hopefully this means new projects will be smaller and less grandiose kind of projects to fill in the gaps and also doesn't break the budget. There's already too many major projects in the pipeline, I think it's enough to keep us going for a decade.
It has been known for a while now in various state govts. NSW stated 1 year ago that they had to start to consider a slow down and then this 3 months ago
it was clear that future mega projects will be delayed given cost and budget issues. Two weeks ago they clearly stated that most projects would be deferred
(except for Parra LR stage 2). Prior to the state budget the Vic Treasurer stated much the same, that there were too many projects inflating costs.
There have been so many large cost blow outs with NSW projects plus add in even more increased inflated material and labour costs beyond previous high levels, meant that there was little choice;
eg. L2&L3 cost $3.15B instead of $1.6B,
Sydney Metro budget is now $17B instead of original $12B,
West Metro already increased by $3B cost before work started,
Westconnex cost $21B from the original $14.8B budget!That's $15B in blow outs. Enough to fund the WSA Metro!
(The Fed funded Inland Rail went from $4.7B estimate in 2010 to $10B in the 2015 BC, to a current $14.5B! That is expected to increase further to closer to $20B
For Vic, the obvious big ones are MM1, Westgate Tunnel & NE Link.
With SRL being the priority, it obviously means that other projects will be deferred or delayed, MM2 being the obvious one, and a couple of exts. However, politically the ALP can't afford to do that with all projects. Especially, Melton & WV electrification. They need to still gradually progress these otherwise they'll get a backlash on this general issue in some safe ALP seats - there is already going to be a post Covid & current cost of living swing away from the govt in some safe seats.
There will be more Fed funds for Vic projects under the new Albo govt so that will help. In the upcoming election campaign the govt probably needs to announce a timeframe for the next term with a combo of Melton sparking, an extra WV/RRL station or two
& the Clyde ext. WV sparking, Fishermens bend LR and Wollert ext could then potentially be done from 2026 to 30 should they win a 4th term (generally unlikely given state election history in Oz).