Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Premier Denis Napthine and Treasurer Michael O’Brien today condemned Daniel Andrews and Labor for flip-flopping on the East-West Link; a project  that was supported wholeheartedly by the former Labor Government of which he was a member. 
The Premier reminded the Victorian community that the Coalition Government is committed to three state transport infrastructure projects which are vital to the future economic prosperity of Victoria – The East West Link, Melbourne Metro Rail and the Port of Hastings. 
The $6-8 billion East-West Link has been allocated funding through the recent State Budget. 
“Labor dithered on Rod Eddington’s recommendations and instead produced an unfunded and excessive $38 billion transport plan. 
This plan was announced with all the bells and whistles, but dithering Dan and the Labor Party have simply not followed through and now they say that the East West Link should not be built at all,” Dr Napthine said.  
“The East West Link is vital for Melbourne and Victoria. It will remove congestion, improve productivity and create more than 3,200 jobs for Victorians. 
“Motorists stuck in traffic at Hoddle Street and on the Bolte Bridge know how vital this project is to relieve pressure on our road network – they cannot afford the delay and dithering of Labor over this project. 
“Daniel Andrews, like the former Labor Government of which he was a part, has shown that he has no transport plan for Victoria and is all about delay, dithering, and grid-lock on our roads. 
“Labor is all over the place on this project – some Labor MPs support it, some don’t and prior to today, Daniel Andrews’ biggest complaint was that the project should start in the west instead of the east.
“The Coalition Government is about growing Melbourne and Victoria and creating jobs and opportunities to make Victoria a better place,” Dr Napthine said.
Treasurer Michael O’Brien said  that the Leader of the Opposition’s stance on East West Link threatened jobs and the economic prosperity of the state. 
“Daniel Andrews would condemn Melbourne to another decade of traffic gridlock with his dithering approach to public infrastructure,” Mr O’Brien said.  
“Dead-end Daniel is following in the footsteps of his Labor forebears who opposed CityLink;  a vital piece of infrastructure that has undoubtedly improved productivity, efficiency and our quality of life. 
“Victorians know the importance of Nation Building. They know that not building the East West Link would lead to more congestion and worsening travel times.  It has been forecast that the annual cost of congestion is estimated to grow to $5.0 billion by 2021 and $7.2 billion by 2031.
“Daniel Andrews stands in the way of a visionary project to complete a missing link in the metropolitan freeway network. By connecting the Tullamarine Freeway, CityLink and the Eastern Freeway, the East West Link his will relieve pressure on the Monash/West Gate corridor.  It will also reduce congestion at the end of the Eastern Freeway and enhance growth across Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.
In addition to this vital infrastructure for Victoria’s road network, the Coalition Government is committed to building our public transport system. Already the following improvements have been made: 
• 1,078 extra metro train trips per week;
• 3,400 extra bus trips per week;
• $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link;
• $100 million Bayside Rail upgrade (Frankston line);
• $25 million Dandenong line upgrade;
• more than $400 million to remove level crossings across Melbourne;
• 15 new X’Trapolis trains  – 7 already delivered, 8 on the way;
• 40 new V/Line carriages on the way; and
• 50 new low-floor trams on the way.