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Melbourne ‘will be the lowest per-capita in terms of living standards’ because of Daniel Andrews, warns top economist #Melbourne #lowest #percapita #terms #living #standards #Daniel #Andrews #warns #top #economist #englishheadline


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Daniel Andrews’ policies will result in Melbourne having the lowest per capita living standards of any capital city, according to the former Chief Economist at Industry Super Australia.

Stephen Anthony made the prediction, as he doubled down on his claim that the Andrews government’s Suburban Rail Link is “the worst infrastructure project of all time.”

Speaking to Englishheadline Australia’s Peta Credlin, Mr Anthony said the Andrews’ government’s reckless spending policies would lead to Victoria having “a junk credit rating within a decade”.

And when combined with a “population ponzi scheme” that was seeing too much immigration with too little regard for the skills people bring, this excessive spending would lead to Melbourne having “the lowest per capita living standards in a few years.”

Central to Mr Anthony’s criticism was the Andrews’ governments Suburban Rail Link.

The multi-stage project will see an underground train line stretching from Cheltenham to Box Hill, and eventually to Werribee. This was estimated to cost Victorians $57 billion when it was first announced in 2019. 

But according to Mr Anthony, who was also the former head of the Expenditure Analysis Branch at the federal Department of Finance, the project is likely to cost closer to $200 billion – at least $1 billion per kilometer. 

Remember, we’re mainly tunnelling through sand, which is the most difficult subterranean construction project you could possibly imagine,” Mr Anthony said.

“If your objective is a middle ring transport loop to the airport, connecting the relevant suburbs, you could achieve the same outcome with electric buses for 1/100th of the price.”

“Or you could do rail above ground and pick up the existing corridors that are dedicated for this project – that have been there for 80 years – and do the same the same thing for maybe 1/50th or maybe 1/75th of the project.”

Earlier in the day Premier Daniel Andrews refused to answer questions about the full cost of the rail link, only providing the $35 billion figure for the first stage of the project. 

“They’ve been appropriately costed, they’ve been fully funded. And we’re getting them built and they’re underway,” Mr Andrews said. 

Asked about the Premier’s claim that the project was fully funded, Mr Anthony said this was untrue.

“The first works are fully funded, the rest of it are not,” Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony said the Albanese Government had allocated matching funds for the project, but there had been no business case presented to Infrastructure Australia.

The economist then called on federal politicians “of any stripe” to request the Federal Parliamentary Budget Office cost the project.

“This hasn’t got approval from Infrastructure Australia. This hasn’t got approval for Infrastructure Victoria. This hasn’t got approval from the Parliamentary Budget Office of Victoria,” he said.

“What I really hope for is that a federal politician of any political stripe refers, the SRL project to the Federal Parliamentary Budget Office.

“All they need to do is say, could you cost a project like this, stage one please, and could you give me a benefit-to-cost ratio when you’re finished, and whether you think this money could be used more effectively in the transport system in Victoria somewhere else.”

English Headline

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