The future of the East Werribee Employment Precinct remains under a cloud more than three years after the announcement of a preferred bidder for the site.

A spokesperson for Werribee MP Tim Pallas said that the state government was “continuing to undertake an assessment of this project before making any decisions about whether it will proceed”.

The government would not reveal why it is taking so long for a decision to be made on the plans for the precinct or when a decision could be expected.

In 2015, the state government identified the Australian Education City (AEC) consortium as the preferred bidders for East Werribee, which is the largest undeveloped parcel of publicly-owned surplus government land in metropolitan Melbourne.

The consortium has since been negotiating exclusively with the government.

As reported by Star Weekly, AEC has promised to deliver a $30 billion education, research and “employment city” that will include top universities from China and the UK, the largest science park in the southern hemisphere and a research and development hub that will concentrate on fields such as biomedical research, cleantech, agri-food sciences, advanced manufacturing and information and communications.

Apartment blocks as high as 50 storeys and a lakeside entertainment precinct with restaurants, cafes, theatres, galleries and performing arts centres are also on the cards in a bid to lure up to 80,000 residents, 50,000 students and 100,000 workers.

According to its website, AEC has memorandums of understanding to partner with global companies IBM, Honeywell, and Cisco, “who will establish industry-led innovation within our flagship location”.

The Australian Education City consortium did not reply to Star Weekly’s questions by deadline.

In August last year, Wyndham major projects director Kate Roffey called on the state government to turn around Werribee’s dole bludger reputation by committing to the East Werribee Employment Precinct.