The Age wrong on East West Link

Media Release

JB129/2014

28 November 2014

The report in today's Age claiming ‘Canberra to pay compo if East West Link cancelled’ is factually wrong.

The payment of $1.5 billion (for both Eastern and Western Sections) was not made under the current National Partnership Agreement, but under the previous memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Victoria.

The MOU imposed an additional funding condition on the project—essentially ensuring that the Australian Government will not be meeting the contractual obligations of Victoria if the project is cancelled. The additional condition excludes “Payment of costs resulting from the delay or cancellation of the project, including but not limited to contractually based penalties, legal costs, or court ordered costs”.

The Australian Government is not obliged to re-allocate the funding for other Victorian projects under the National Partnership Agreement if the East West Link project does not proceed.

The Age was provided this information, but ignored the facts and instead published the factually incorrect article.

The East West Link is a vital infrastructure project which will create almost 7,000 jobs during construction and slash travel times between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink to seven minutes and bypass 23 sets of traffic lights.

Labor's position means that only the Abbott and Napthine Governments working together will ease congestion and cut travel times for Melbourne commuters.