Victorian state election: Labor won’t build East West Link ‘under any circumstances’

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The Age: Victorian state election: Labor won’t build East West Link ‘under any circumstances’ November 19, 2014 Tom Cowie Reporter

Labor won’t backdown on its commitment to tear up the contracts for the East West Link if it wins office, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews says.

In an interview with the Herald Sun, Mr Andrews said there were no circumstances in which Labor would end up building the East West Link after the election.

Mr Andrews said suggestions that he would eventually renege on his pledge not to build the $6.8 billion toll road, citing cost to taxpayers if it did not proceed, were “absolutely” wrong.

The project is the subject of legal action from local councils in the Supreme Court and Labor has committed to not fighting the case if it is elected.

But there have been reports that Labor could end up building the road if the court challenge is unsuccessful and the contract is upheld. However, Mr Andrews dismissed this scenario.

“No. I’ve got different priorities and I’ve been very clear about that. And some will agree and some won’t, that’s what elections are for,” he said.

When asked if the project had been “100 per cent ruled out”, Mr Andrews said: “I think I have covered it off”.

“This has been secretive, this has been botched, this has been rushed,” he said.

“The contract itself, we haven’t seen it, side deals that may or may not exist, the nature of which is uncertain. This is not the program of work that I want to get on with — I have different priorities.”

Mr Andrews comments come as government emails obtained by The Age reveal senior transport planners detailed the superior economic return a rail tunnel under the city would bring to Melbourne compared with the East West Link

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