Government maintains commitment to East West Link
BUDGET INFRA 02/2015
12 May 2015
Joint release with:
Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government's plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
Tonight the Commonwealth Government has reaffirmed its continuing commitment to the construction of Melbourne's East West Link, despite the Victorian Government tearing up the project contract.
The Commonwealth Government regards the much-needed East West Link as a project of national significance that will create thousands of jobs and reduce congestion for Victorians.
The Commonwealth Government will provide $3 billion to the first Victorian Government willing to build the East West Link and is, therefore, recording this commitment as a Contingent Liability in the Federal Budget tonight.
Clearly, the Victorian Government has abandoned responsible governance and created sovereign risk, which means the East West Link is being mothballed—delayed but not dead.
The Victorian Government will waste over half a billion dollars not to build this world class project but the East West Link may still be reinstated at a later date by a government willing to do the right thing by the people of Victoria.
To this end, the Commonwealth Government has revised the forward estimates, including the return of $1.5 billion of unspent funding from the Victorian Government, consistent with obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Victorian Government and the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Government's commitment to providing $3 billion to build East West Link has been formalised tonight as a Contingent Liability in Statement 8 of the 2015–16 Budget Papers.
The Commonwealth Government wants to invest in major infrastructure projects of national significance in Victoria should the Victorian Government come forward with credible options.