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Australia Victorian opposition renews East West Link push ahead of next state election

03:15  15 april  2021
03:15  15 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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The next Victorian state election is scheduled to be held on 26 November 2022 to elect the 60th Parliament of Victoria . All 88 seats in the Legislative Assembly (lower house)

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map: The East West Link was scrapped by the Andrews government in 2015. (ABC TV Graphcis) © Provided by ABC Business The East West Link was scrapped by the Andrews government in 2015. (ABC TV Graphcis)

The Victorian opposition will take a pledge to build the contentious East West Link to the next state election, despite the project being scrapped six years ago.

The East West Link is a proposed tunnel from the end of the Eastern Freeway in Clifton Hill to CityLink in Parkville.

On the sixth anniversary of the project being dumped by the freshly-elected Andrews Labor government in 2015, the Victorian Liberal Party has renewed its push for the road to be part of its election platform.

Opposition Roads Spokesman Tim Smith said the pledge by the Commonwealth to allocate $4 billion to the East-West Link still stands.

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The Victorian Opposition has continued to defend the decision to sign the contracts for the East West Link before the November 2014 election , despite scathing criticism from the state 's auditor-general. The auditor-general said the former Napthine government's decision to sign the contract at that time was "disproportionately aimed at achieving contract execution prior to the 2014 state election rather than being in the best interests of the project or use of taxpayers' money".

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"We can build this road immediately with that money," he said.

"Who says no to a free road?"

The project remains on Infrastructure Australia's list of high priority projects.

An Infrastructure Australia audit in 2019 found the east-west corridor to the north of Melbourne's CBD had the highest road congestion delay cost in Melbourne.

"It's a vital piece of infrastructure that Infrastructure Australia rates as a very high priority, so the Andrews Labor government should get out of the way and let the Commonwealth fund this road," Mr Smith said.

"Had (Daniel Andrews) said yes to this project in 2015 this road would be built by now, and this is so frustrating for so many commuters, particularly in the eastern suburbs."

Daniel Andrews promised during the 2014 election campaign to cancel the contracts for the East West Link, and duly did so after defeating Denis Napthine to win government.

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Victorian voters will have a choice of the East West Link or the North East Link at the November state poll after Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the dumped road was his priority. Mr Guy also said that congestion in the northern suburbs could be alleviated through his billion policy of removing traffic lights and intersections at strategic locations in the north- east suburbs. There have long been calls for Melbourne's so-called "missing link " to be built between the Ring Road at Greensborough and the Eastern Freeway. The Andrews Government has started planning work to build the road and

Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews and wife Cath Andrews campaign in Bentleigh on Friday. The final day of the Victorian election campaign became a scramble for critical bayside seats and a continuing stoush over the biggest issue in this campaign, the East West Link toll road and tunnel. Two opinion polls indicated Labor was leading 52% to 48% on a two-party preferred basis, although the Age’s Ipsos poll suggested the race had tightened considerably.

The cancellation of the project cost more than $1 billion.

Roads Minister Ben Carroll said the government would not revive the plan.

"Twice this issue has been to the people of Victoria and twice they've rejected it," he said, referring to Labor's election victories in 2015 and 2019.

"This is a loss-making return project of 45 cents in every dollar, the Liberals promised this but they would never release the full business case for the project."

Mr Carroll said the Victorian government was focused on other road and public transport projects.

"We are doing the West Gate Tunnel, but we are also doing enormous investment in our Airport rail link, which is going to be a real boon for the western suburbs."


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The federal government has torn up an arrangement Victoria made with China under that country's trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative. What was the arrangement and how can the Commonwealth quash a state deal?The scrapping of Victoria's BRI arrangement came before the agreements were even fully formed, and certainly before they delivered any real benefits for either party.

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This is interesting!