Monash University Engineering expert Graham Curries said no planning had been done yet on whether the sewer would affect the tunnel set for the Melbourne Rail Link project, worth approximately $A11 billion.
The Melbourne Rail Link project will transform Melbourne’s rail network and allow an increase in capacity by 30 per cent, also delivering a new rail link to Melbourne Airport.
The project will construct the following:
- Twin tunnels from Southern Cross to South Yarra as part of a new Frankston to Lilydale/Belgrave line
- New underground stations at Fishermans Bend (Montague) and Domain
- New underground platforms at Southern Cross and South Yarra stations
- The Melbourne Airport Rail Link, connecting Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station and the Cranbourne-Pakenham corridor
- Train-tram interchanges in the new underground stations.
Professor Curries said the Victorian Government should not be so sure that the sewer would not pose a problem to the project.
“The truth is we don’t know because no one has done any planning on it,” Professor Curries said.
“It is helpful for real capacity but the truth is they haven’t done any of the work that went on in the other alignment,” he said.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder fiercely denied the claims that the Melbourne sewer network had not been considered during project planning.
“The same company who rebuilt Melbourne’s underground sewer are the same company who are working on Melbourne Rail Link. What does that tell you? That the fact that we are not supposed to have known where the sewermain was? What a load of absolute rubbish,” He said.
“I would suggest that this will be dealt with by engineers, not by politicians and certainly not by university academics,” Mr Mulder said.