Government puts pen to paper on East West contracts

3AW: Government puts pen to paper on East West contracts. 29 September 2014

Hoddle Street overpass looking east showing the new East West Link stage one.

The Napthine Government has this afternoon signed the contract to build the East West Link project after the High Court rejected a bid to stall the controversial toll road.

Brunswick resident Anthony Murphy had sought an injunction against contracts being signed until after his case challenging the project is heard in the Supreme Court, but the High Court dismissed the application.

State Treasurer Michael O’Brien confirmed to Tom Elliott the government has put pen to paper on stage one of the project.

“This project is now going ahead. The contract has been signed,” he said on 3AW Drive.

“Look Mr Murphy doesn’t like freeways. He protested the Eastern Freeway in the 1970s. He’s protested East West Link.

“The left wing in the inner city in Victoria, in Melbourne in particular, have got this fetish against roads.”

In the office of the Linking Melbourne Authority, Premier Denis Napthine and Transport Minister Terry Mulder inked the multi-billion-dollar deal around 4.30pm.

The consortium, led by Lend Lease, has told the stock exchange it has entered into a $5.3 billion public-private partnership to design, construct and finance the project.

Mr O’Brien says the state government will be liable for hundreds of millions of dollars if Labor tears up the contract if it wins the election.

“There are damages and compensation payable if that state was to renege on its obligations,” he said.

“That is the same as in any other infrastructure project.”

However, deputy Labor leader James Merlino confirmed to 3AW Drive the party will abandon the project if it is elected.

“The legal advice we’ve received is absolutely clear: any contract entered into now is a sham contract,” he said.

“We will not proceed with Denis Napthine’s dud tunnel.”

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