Fin Review: Andrews to build city rail tunnel without $3bn in federal funding. by Patrick Durkin and Ewin Hannan
Premier Daniel Andrews: “There will be disruption for an extended period of time, months if not years. We apologise in advance.” Salona Chithiray
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will proceed with a plan to tear up the centre of Melbourne to make way for an $11 billion underground rail line, despite Prime Minister Tony Abbott declaring that $3 billion in federal funding earmarked for the scrapped East West Link is in a “locked box” and cannot be used for the ambitious project.
Melbourne’s bustling Swanston Street will be ripped up and disrupted for at least two years to make way for the Melbourne Rail Link, as part of disruptive construction works from 2018 which former Premier Denis Napthine has warned will divide the city worse than the Berlin Wall.
The stand-off between the Prime Minister and Mr Andrews over road versus rail projects deepened ahead of a meeting between the two men on Thursday, after Mr Abbott accused the premier of “doing nothing for three years” at a time when Victoria’s manufacturing and car sectors were faultering and the East West Link project would have created 7,000 jobs.