Victorians have every right to be embarrassed by the abrupt cancellation of the Commonwealth Games and the ensuing international humiliation, but they shouldn’t be surprised.
The cancellation of the 2026 Games is just the latest example of ambitious and colossally expensive Victorian projects being promised but then abandoned or significantly downgraded as the prime minister’s fetish for Big Government plans collides head-on with reality. fiscal.
Add the Commonwealth Games to the East-West Link road project and the Melbourne airport rail line that this state government has cancelled.
Then there was the fading promise of an additional 4,000 ICU beds during Covid, announced by local public health units during the pandemic, but which now has dwindling amounts of funding.
These projects and others have fallen victim to the growing state debt that is projected to reach $171 billion in 2026.27.
Despite that, other grandiose projects continue, for now: the new $35 billion rail loop linking the outer suburbs (despite little customer demand) and the West Gate Tunnel, whose costs have doubled to $10 billion and it’s already eight years old. late and counting
Everyone felt that the end of ‘Dictator Dan”s record-breaking Covid lockdown was just the beginning of years of misery ahead.
It came like a wrecking ball: Dan Andrews has turned Victoria into a basket
Andrews made it clear that he had no problem throwing large amounts of Victorian taxpayers’ money down the drain before he was voted on.
The cost to taxpayers of scrapping Melbourne’s East West Link road project cost Victorians $1.1 billion.
Daniel Andrews told the Victorians the decision to get rid of the games was an “easy one”.
The West Gate Tunnel suffered a massive $4.7 billion explosion
It was an election promise embraced by Victorian voters that enabled Andrews to topple the Liberal government in 2014.
The East West Connect consortium was contracted to build the 18 kilometer road connecting the Eastern Freeway at Hoddle Street with CityLink, the Port of Melbourne and the Western Ring Road.
Along with many political promises, it never happened after Labor took control.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Victorians again voted Mr Andrews back to power despite enduring the longest Covid-19 lockdown in human history.
So weak had the disputed opposition become that Andrews walked to electoral victory despite his name continuing to appear in various investigations by the broad-based Independent Anti-Corruption Commission.
In 2020, Mr Andrews told Victorians, still stuck inside their locked-down homes, that Victoria would benefit from a “massive injection of $1.3bn to rapidly establish an additional 4000 ICU beds”.
The money was earmarked in response to the covid pandemic, which was sweeping the state at the time, with 968 new confirmed cases on the same day the announcement was published.
Daily Mail Australia asked the Prime Minister’s office numerous times about the engagement in subsequent years, but never received a response.
The cost of hot public transportation $10 for a daily ticket this year
The cancellation of the Games comes just months after the prime minister announced he was pulling the rug out of plans to belatedly build a rail link to Melbourne airport.
To this day, and apparently for many more to come, anyone taking a plane from Melbourne has the choice of a very large taxi or Uber fare, sharing a crowded bus, or paying for parking.
In May, hundreds of traders were sent to other projects after the Andrews government confirmed that construction of the Melbourne airport rail link would halt.
Deputy Prime Minister Jacinta Allan ended weeks of speculation by confirming that work would be temporarily halted on the $13 billion Airport Rail Link, as well as improvements to Clyde, McGregor and Racecourse roads.
“Airport rail is basic infrastructure in almost every major city in Australia and the world, but in Victoria, we just can’t seem to do it,” Deputy Leader of the Opposition David Southwick said at the time.
‘There can be no more excuses. The money for this project is available and the Andrews government should go ahead with the delivery of this important project.’
Melbourne does not yet have a rail connection to its airport
The following month, Victorians were stunned when it was reported that Andrews had cut future funding for one of his biggest pandemic-era reforms: local public health units established at the height of the COVID-19 crisis. to rebuild the public health of the state. capacity and defense against infectious diseases.
Government funding for the units would be reduced from approximately $80 million this financial year to $55 million in 2023-24 and further reduced to $47 million in 2024-25. Age reported in June.
The Australian Public Health Association said the funding decision was short-sighted and disappointing, while senior Victorian Department of Health officials, speaking anonymously to discuss budget matters, said it sent a terrible message about the importance of health public and preventative
In April, the publication revealed that 45 community health services in Victoria were told to prepare for cuts of up to 15 per cent, the majority of which went to preventative programs such as vaping and obesity.
Less than a month ago, Victorians found out that getting on a train or tram would also cost more.
Since July, Myki’s daily fares for Victoria’s public transport have increased by almost a dollar to $10 per day.
The daily rate went from $9.20 to $10, while the single rate went from $4.60 to $5.
It represented an increase of 8.7 percent, which is more than the inflation rate.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews walked out of the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday
Meanwhile, the most expensive public transport construction contract in Victoria’s history is about to be signed, paving the way for major works on the $35 billion Suburban Rail Loop.
The project will connect Cheltenham to Box Hill via a new 26km underground line.
The rail line, for which there was never any public demand, was called a “waste of money” by the opposition, which had promised in its election campaign to redirect $8.7 billion of state funds for the project to the struggling health system of Victory.
Whether the project will ever be completed is anyone’s guess, as Melburnians living in the west still face traffic hell years after the West Gate Tunnel project was supposed to make life easier.
The state budget revealed in May a massive $4.7 billion blast at the West Gate Tunnel, which will now cost $10.2 billion and be delivered eight years late.
But as Victorians struggle to put food on the table, find a roof over their heads and pay for their heat this winter, they were no doubt buoyed by the announcement last month that Andrews would be getting a raise.
Victorian MPs received a 3.5 per cent pay increase on 1 July, bringing the salary of secondary MPs to nearly $200,000 and Mr Andrews’ pay to over $481,000.
Andrews said on Tuesday that the decision to cancel the Games was “easy” to make.
It’s the kind of comment that makes the blood of ordinary Victorians boil.
The cost of dumping from the Commonwealth Games has so far remained a secret, but it won’t stay that way.
‘Called communications games, public health funding cuts, airport train pause; meanwhile, salary increase for politicians… It’s going great,‘ a Victorian commented on Andrews’ record on Tuesday.