Tony Abbott says East West Link funds will not be diverted to Metro rail project

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Guardian: Tony Abbott says East West Link funds will not be diverted to Metro rail project Melissa Davey Thursday 16 April 2015

Prime minister says $1.5bn in federal funding will not go to Melbourne rail project being promoted by Victorian Labor premier Daniel Andrews

A Melbourne Metro rail tunnel would require significant funding from private investors and the federal government. Photograph: Julian Smith/AAP

Tony Abbott has said $1.5bn in federal funding for Victoria’s dumped East West Link toll road project is in a “locked box” and cannot be allocated to other transport projects.

The prime minister told radio station 3AW he was dismayed that the Victorian Labor premier, Daniel Andrews, had scrapped the project, which the former Coalition government signed up to just weeks before the November election.

As Andrews was holding a media conference on Thursday to promote his alternative transport plan, the Melbourne Metro rail project, Abbott said he would not allow commonwealth funding intended for the East West Link to be put towards it.