State at a standstill as major projects wind up: Vote Yes for Doncaster Rail

The western ring road upgrage from Pasco Vale road overpass. Photo: Ken Irwin

The Age is running a poll on infrastructure priorites for Victoria – to vote “yes” for Doncaster rail follow the link below.

VICTORIA is coming to a standstill with more than 12,000 construction jobs lost and thousands more at risk as big infrastructure jobs such as the desalination plant finish and the pipeline of major building projects dries up.

The companies expect to shed thousands more jobs in the next few months as the building industry grinds to a halt, with the Regional Rail Link the only major infrastructure project continuing this year…

A unanimous chorus of industry leaders – from lobby groups, peak bodies, unions and economists – say capital spending is the lifeblood of the Victorian economy, which is under increasing strain because of the building decline.

They are calling for the state and federal governments to fast-track funding for the next round of big-ticket projects – including the East-West Tunnel and Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel – which are all a year or more away from building getting started…

The chief executive of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Brendan Lyon, said Victoria could borrow only a few billion dollars before it would risk the loss of its AAA credit rating.

”When you look at the next three major projects that are needed – the East-West road link, the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel and the completion of the north-east section of the ring road – you’re talking projects worth well over $20 billion,” he said.

”Victoria cannot just print money to fund its infrastructure investment and that means immediate action on any of these projects will require the federal government to be at the table with their cheque book.”

The state secretary of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Workers’ Union, Cesar Melhem, said there were lots of ”very grim” construction workers looking for employment, but some were changing jobs or moving interstate…

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