Debate heats up over $1 billion East West link compensation claim

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Nine News: Debate heats up over $1 billion East West link compensation claims. November 25, 2014

Legal experts believe the consortium contracted to build the project would be entitled to compensation if the project does not go ahead.

The East West link is set to dominate debate in the final days before Victoria’s state election, with voters potentially facing a $1.1 billion compensation bill if a victorious Labor party cancels the East West link.

Opposition leader Daniel Andrews has repeatedly voiced his wariness of the project, saying any commitment should have waited on the result of a court challenge brought by three local councils alleging the planning is invalid.

If Labor wins on Saturday, he has promised to tear up the contract.

An artist’s impression of the new link. (9NEWS)

He has also claimed that regardless of the election result, if the court challenge is successful the contract for the development of the link will become invalid.

However, contrary legal opinions support Premier Denis Napthine pressing ahead with the project, saying even a successful legal challenge would not invalidate the contract, the Herald Sun has reported.

Should Mr Andrews carry the election and cancel the project as promised, it is believed the compensation bill for the developers would reach at least $1.1 billion.

Victorian Labor leader Daniel Andrews alongside Premier Denis Napthine. (AAP)

The state government would also be forced to pay back $1.5 billion received in federal funding.

The East West link will cost a total of $6.8 billion when finished, should the current government retain power.

The project will install a toll motorway that will connect Melbourne’s western suburbs to the Eastern Freeway.

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