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Constituency Statements: Supporting the East West Link
As traffic in Melbourne gets worse by the week, I want to reaffirm this government’s commitment to the desperately needed East West Link project and remind the House that $3 billion in federal funding remains available for its completion. Time and time again, whether the report is from Infrastructure Australia or Infrastructure Victoria, the crucial need for the East West Link continues to be highlighted by transport experts.
When surveyed by the RACV last month, Victorians voted the Eastern Freeway junction with Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade Melbourne’s worst traffic bottleneck, a nightmare that only the East West Link can resolve. Earlier this week, though, in Senate estimates, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Don Farrell, questioned the government’s continued support for the East West Link and suggested that the $3 billion in federal funding be spent elsewhere, presumably in his own state of South Australia. Is this Labor’s new policy: rip money from the East West Link to be spent in another state?
Victorians have already had to put up with Dan Andrews and Bill Shorten spending more than $1.2 billion not to build the East West Link. Now we have Labor’s Senate deputy leader suggesting that the $3 billion committed to this project should be spent in another state. Victorians know that the East West Link must be built, and I want to reassure residents of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne: we are committed to building the East West Link and we will not allow Labor to rip $3 billion away from Victoria.