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Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan has refused to rule out a $3 billion-plus budget blowout on the government’s flagship Metro Tunnel project, after work ground to a halt last week.
Massive boring machines stopped digging in a dramatic escalation of the costs dispute between the Andrews Government and the consortium building the mega-project.
A mediator has been called in to handle the fight, with industry and union sources estimating that cost overruns could total $3 billion.
The state opposition called on the Auditor-General to investigate the ballooning costs.
Jacinta Allan faced questions on the Metro Tunnel cost overruns. Picture: AAP Image/James RossTransport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan today dodged questions about whether she could “categorically” rule out budget blow outs of more than $3 billion.
“There is a lot of speculation going on that’s been put out there by the Opposition,” she said.
“We have got the project up and running … we have always said and we have always understood that the Metro Tunnel is a big and complex project.”
Again asked about cost overruns, Ms Allan said it was “difficult to respond to the wild claims” by the Opposition, accusing the former Coalition government of having “ran away” from the project.
“Unlike the Liberal Opposition when they were in government, we didn’t run scared, we didn’t run away from those challenges when they were presented to us,” she said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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