East West Link a great tunnel vision

Herald Sun Editorial: East West Link a great tunnel vision. 20 February 2014

An artist’s impression of the proposed Hoddle Street overpass section of Melbourne’s planned East West Link. Picture: Stuart Walmsley Source: Herald Sun

Melbournes East West Link has never been more important to this state’s future and economy.

As Victoria struggles to make its way beyond corporate closures and creeping unemployment, major projects will be a significant plank towards revitalisation and job security.

Funding for the first stage of the $14 billion East West arterial has been locked in.

But questions about how and when the second stage was to be funded — to connect CityLink with the Western Ring Rd — have lingered.

The Eddington inquiry into Melbourne’s transport needs identified the importance of both East West stages being complete to generate the maximum economic benefit for Victoria. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, after meeting with Premier Denis Napthine, has now indicated federal funding may be available to launch both stages simultaneously.

Given the industrial pain inflicted on Victoria by the Ford, Toyota, Holden and Alcoa decisions, a real fillip is needed to boost jobs and inject confidence.

East West is an important step in achieving just that.

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