There is $4 billion of Federal Government funding waiting to be matched with state funding as well as funding from tenderers to connect the Eastern Freeway with CityLink.
Despite Labor promising at the 2014 election to build a $500 million slip road from the West Gate Bridge toward the Port of Melbourne, Daniel Andrews instead proceeded with the $6.9 billion West Gate Tunnel Project.
Labor’s West Gate Tunnel Project is now more than one year behind time and billions of dollars over budget and has been embroiled in significant legal action.
The sensible connection between the end of the Eastern Freeway, an intersection routinely at standstill before COVID-19, via a tunnel, could begin almost immediately if the Andrews Labor Government was prepared to make an allocation in this state budget and commence a swift tender process, given the presence already of key background documents.
On coming to government in 2014 Daniel Andrews and Labor tore up the original East West Link contract, halting works that had already commenced and costing Victorian taxpayers $1.3 billion. None of this removed the need for the road, a need recognised by Infrastructure Australia and Infrastructure Victoria as a critically needed road.
Daniel Andrews should take the $4 billion of Federal Government funding on offer and commence construction this financial year to create jobs and build critically need infrastructure.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:
“Victorians cannot afford to wait forever for Labor to say yes to building the East West.
“This project would help provide the massive boost to construction activity and jobs the Federal Government has called upon the states to unlock.
“Funding to rapidly commence the East West Link must be provided in the State Budget on 24 November. Anything less means Daniel Andrews simply is not serious about Victoria recovering as quickly as possible from the recession that began in Victoria before the COVID-19 pandemic.”