Grattan Institute blows the whistle on Daniel Andrews’ massive project cost overruns and secrecy

The Grattan Institute has blown the whistle on Daniel Andrews mismanagement and secrecy on his major projects.

The report “The rise of megaprojects: counting the costs” also warns that greater care and checking is required before commencing ‘Mega-projects’ which are more likely to endure massive cost blowouts.

Victorians will see these warnings and recognise instantly the failings of the Andrews Labor Government.

Grattan has also called for more modest projects that will deliver jobs earlier to help with the COVID19 crisis. Grattan sensibly draws attention to proper planning, scoping and process as key weaknesses of the Andrews Government.

The Grattan Institute recommendations are sensible and practical:

  • The AG should conduct an immediate review of transport infrastructure projects valued at $100 million or more;
  • Projects over $500 million should face continuous disclosure by the relevant minister to parliament where material changes occur;
  • Ministers should disclose cost estimates for infrastructure valued over $100 million and reconcile changes as projects develop and costs more certain;
  • Strengthen role of Infrastructure Advisory bodies;
  • Greater role for modest-sized infrastructure projects. Megaprojects should be proposed last, not first;
  • Commonwealth government should provide national guidelines that measure project risk for states to adopt or adapt.
  • State infrastructure minister should provide completed project data for any infrastructure project over $20 million, including details of the project completed;
  • State governments should publish post completion reviews of all projects costing more than $100 million, including deviations in eventual costs as well as deviations in costs and benefits and scope changes.

Labor in Victoria breaches every one of these basic Grattan Institute recommendations routinely withholding basic data to cover its tracks and hide the blowouts or the reductions in scope.

Andrews is far too secretive on his infrastructure projects and has refused repeatedly to reveal basic information. It’s a cover-up pure and simple. Victorian taxpayers deserve better than Andrews’ secrecy.

These sensible practical steps would help rein in the blowouts of Victorian infrastructure costs. It’s a first step and the Liberal Nationals support the greater transparency called for in this report.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:

“Every project Labor has touched has had its budget blowout, is behind time or is otherwise botched, they can’t manage major projects, let alone mega projects.

“Grattan sensibly draws attention to proper planning, scoping and process as key weaknesses of the Andrews Government.

“The report highlights the need for smaller targeted, ready to move projects, that are more manageable, less likely to get into trouble and importantly deliver jobs right immediately.

“The pandemic requires a kick start now, not grandiose schemes that will take years to deliver. We need to provide the jobs need right now. Smaller, targeted, shovel ready, job creating projects are needed now.”

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