Sky News: East West Link to cause ‘jobs carnage’ Thursday, 16 April 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott believes the Victorian government’s multimillion dollar deal to dump the the East West Link project will leave Melbourne choking on traffic and cause a ‘jobs carnage’.
An ‘absolutely dismayed’ Mr Abbott on Thursday warned Premier Daniel Andrews the $1.5 billion already set aside by the commonwealth for the road link was in a ‘locked box’ and could not be used on other projects.
With the Metro Rail project not estimated to start until 2018, the city will be left with ‘three years of nothing’, he told Fairfax radio.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the money sunk into the project was spelled out in the last two budgets at close to $400 million, on top of the $339 million paid to the building consortium to walk away.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said Labor would go through the books to find out how much the previous government spent on getting the $6.8 billon East West Link ready.
‘It’ll take us a while to find out how much cost they actually wasted on this,’ he told reporters on Thursday.
Mr Guy said the numbers were clearly available in the last two budgets.
‘I think there’s about $200 million for pre-planning, around $160 million or so for acquisition of properties, $24 million for IP, the details were there,’ he said.
Labor paid the East West Connect consortium to walk away from the project after it promised to dump the road tunnel if it won the November election.
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