PM Tony Abbott puts pressure on Daniel Andrews over threat to tear up East West Link contracts

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Herald Sun: PM Tony Abbott puts pressure on Daniel Andrews over threat to tear up East West Link contracts. 2 October 2014

Pressure is mounting on Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews not to tear up East West Link contracts, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott criticising his decision.

Inspecting plans for the eastern section of the East West link in Melbourne, Mr Abbott warned that if Labor tore up contracts, the Federal Government’s contribution of $1.5 billion would have to be repaid.

“If you want this project to be confirmed, if you want this project to become an absolute reality, there’s only one way to go and that’s to keep Coalition governments in Melbourne,” Mr Abbott said.

”Regrettably, to this very day, the Victorian Opposition is saying that if they get elected, they’ll tear up the contract.”

“I’m pleased to say that, at least in Canberra, the Opposition says that Labor honours contracts, but for some reason that message hasn’t gotten through to the Opposition here in Melbourne.”

On Monday, Premier Denis Napthine and Roads Minister Terry Mulder signed contracts for the $6.8 billion Link, after a move to halt the project was thrown out of court.

The government is yet to provide detail of any additional “kill clause” fee taxpayers would face if the project was dumped by Labor.

Dr Napthine said the road project was essential to cater for population growth in Victoria.

“We need these major infrastructure projects to drive services, to improve our quality of life, to improve our business efficiency and transport productivity across Melbourne and Victoria,” he said.

“The Commonwealth contribution makes a real difference to this project and makes sure the project is at great value for Victorian taxpayers.”

annika.smethurst@news.com.au

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