Vic premier 'confident' on tunnel project
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is not ruling out spending extra to ensure Melbourne's West Gate Tunnel is built, while insisting there is no need.
Toll road giant Transurban is delivering the alternative route for the city's heavily-congested West Gate Bridge with joint venture builders CPB Contractors and John Holland.
But the builders last week tried to terminate their subcontract over an issue with soil contamination at the site, including its disposal.
The state government has stressed it is up to Transurban and the builders to resolve their differences and deliver on their commitment to build the tunnel by 2022.
Mr Andrews is "very confident" a resolution will be found.
"There's a contract, it needs to be delivered, that road needs to be concluded in 2022 and I'm confident it will be," he told reporters on Tuesday.
The premier said if things change, the government would be willing to be involved in discussions.
But he stressed the situation is a "long way away from that", dismissing the current drama as "silly games".
"I don't believe there is a need for additional payments," he said.
"But if (there are) legitimate claims that can be stood up, that can be demonstrated, that are put forward in good faith rather than silly games being played, well we're not unreasonable, we're willing to sit down and work with contracted parties.
"We've done that on many different projects where things are unforeseen or things occur."
Mr Andrews said he did not want to invite contracted parties to "put aside a contract, in the hope that they can just write whatever ticket they want."
"We're working through these issues, there's a contract there. It ought to be delivered on time, it ought to be delivered in the contingencies that are currently provided.
"I'm not going to, in any answers I give today, or any announcements I make, give a green light to companies that are playing games with taxpayers' money."
The opposition has stressed no more state taxpayer cash should be spent on the $6.7 billion protect, arguing the buck for resolving the issue stops with the government who signed the contract.
"Taxpayers and motorists have been ripped off enough," Victorian Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien told reporters.
"There is no way on God's green earth, taxpayers or motorists should be paying one extra dollar to bail out Transurban or its builders," he told reporters.
Back to Breaking News
Print this page