Tony Abbott ‘ignored advice’ over East West Link

ANAO’s East West Link report is a potentially eye-opening, rollicking read of stupidity and poor processes, released less than a week after Victorian Auditor-General’s Report on East West Link. We say “potentially” as many of us realised in 2012 that East West Links chaotic trail led back to Abbott.

Approval and Administration of Commonwealth Funding for the East West Link Project – Tabled 14 December 2015

The objective of the audit was to assess whether appropriate steps were taken to protect the Commonwealth’s interests and obtain value for money in respect to the:

approval of $1.5 billion in Commonwealth funding for stage one of the East West Link project, and the June 2014 payment of $500 million of this funding; and
approval of $1.5 billion in Commonwealth funding for stage two of the East West Link project, and the June 2014 payment of $1 billion of this funding.

Stop playing and start planning for Victoria

A magisterial editorial from The Age, the Australian Labor Party​ and Liberal Party of Australia​ et al, must stop drinking the rent seeker kool-aid when it comes to supporting megaprojects and instead build a real vision for Australian cities & transport.

The Age Editorial: Stop playing and start planning for Victoria (11 January 2016)

Victoria’s transport infrastructure requires a thorough, comprehensive plan that takes into account present and future needs.

For many years this newspaper has stood in support of projects that could remedy Melbourne’s debilitating – and ever worsening – traffic problems.

In 2013 we commented on the conflict of ideologies between then prime minister Julia Gillard and her opposing leader Tony Abbott, over whether the federal government should contribute to Ms Gillard’s favoured Melbourne Metro rail plan, of which we said it was “worthwhile for all the right reasons”, or Mr Abbott’s preferred concept, an east-west link road-building project (written about in lower-case as a notion, rather than a bona fide entity). Continue Reading…

You Thought The East West Link Was Dead, Right? Well Think Again

From Senator Janet Rice, published in NewMatilda 4 Mar 2015

The Victorian Liberals were cast from office in large part over East West Link. Labor needs to kill, bury and cremate it as well, writes Janet Rice*.

Melbourne’s population is growing, congestion is increasing and we need to do something to fix it. Do we keep travelling the old, tired, expensive route? Or do we change course to a cleaner, cheaper option?

The Napthine government’s loss in what Tony Abbott described as the “referendum on the East West Link” was a win for the cleaner and cheaper option. As was the new Daniel Andrews government’s commitment to building the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel.

Despite this, Tony Abbott refuses to fund anything resembling sensible, congestion-busting public transport.

And lurking in the shadows is the western half of the East West Link.

This concept is a hangover from Sir Rod Eddington’s ‘East West Link Needs Assessment’ report, which was completed in 2008 for the Brumby government.

The report called for both the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel and the East West Link, and Eddington believed that the western section of the toll road was the priority.

The Labor government agreed and planning proceeded at full speed, until they were turfed out of office.

Since winning last year’s state election, Labor have dodged the issue of this part of the toll road. We’re told it isn’t part of their plan “for this term”, but they “would never say never”.

At Senate Estimates in Canberra last week, the Department of Infrastructure let out that Victorian Labor is “yet to provide any formal advice to the Australian government on their commitment to the project”.

And while Labor leaves the door ajar for East West Link, the way we use transport in this city is making the idea obsolete. Continue Reading…

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