As the days go by: Council questions Fed delays, review putting key projects at risk

Moreton Council is asking how a 90-day review into infrastructure by the Federal Government has stretched out to more than 130 days and put key developments in the region at risk.

Sep 15, 2023, updated Sep 15, 2023
A Government review has delayed key projects. (File photo).

A Government review has delayed key projects. (File photo).

Its planned works at Youngs Crossing Road has been delayed by the suspension of about $32 million in funding from the Albanese Government while it reviews all the commitments made by the previous Morrison Government.

That review was sparked by a swag of promises. According to Infrastructure Minister Catherine King the number of infrastructure projects in the pipeline blew out from 150 to almost 800 and there was inadequate funding, resources to cater to them.

The review has found that there was $33 billion of known cost overruns,  which was 41 per cent of the total budget for the infrastructure program. There was also “a very high risk of more overruns in the future”.

The City of Moreton is not alone. Councils and governments around the country are waiting for news on the review.

Mayor Peter Flannery said the Youngs Road project was in doubt.

“We can’t afford to wait for this project to be evaluated again by Canberra bureaucrats and this so-called 90-day review has created significant uncertainty,” he said.

“The cost of construction continues to rise while we wait on a decision, and we need assurance for the full commitment of funding now.

“This is one of the biggest road infrastructure projects to be delivered by City of Moreton Bay. We’ve completed the design work, allocated resources and we are ready to go to tender now.

“The review was completed last month and yet we are still waiting on news about this flagship infrastructure project for South East Queensland.

“It’s been years in the making and more than $80 million has been committed, including council itself assigning a massive $32.25 million to the project.

“We were allocated funding in 2022 under the previous Government, but the need has now exceeded even what we envisaged back then, so I do hope we can all rise above politics and a decision can be made quickly so we can go to tender as soon as possible.”

The report has been completed and was now with the Minister whose spokesperson said it was a lengthy report, which highlighted “how badly the Liberals and Nationals managed the Infrastructure Investment Program during their wasted decade”.

“As would be expected of a responsible Minister, she is considering the report in detail, and a Government response to the recommendations will be announced in due course.

“The Minister will consult closely with her cabinet colleagues and with state and territory colleagues in considering the reviewers’ recommendations and determine how to proceed in a way that best serves the interests of the Australian public and doesn’t contribute to inflation and cost of living pressures.”




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