Terry Mulders East West Link memories

At the four minute mark in this ABC 774 interview (28 April 2014), Terry Mulder tries to claim that the state government promised to build East West Link during 2010 election. This government is like nailing jelly to a wall.

The Age: East-west rationale to stay secret. August 25, 2013 Royce Millar and Jason Dowling

The Coalition was elected on a public transport platform promising to build new rail including the $9 billion Metro tunnel, and new rail lines to Doncaster, Rowville and Tullamarine airport.

Minister for Public Transport and Roads Terry Mulder ruled out when he was opposition transport spokesman building the east-west link, insisting: ”You can’t build your way out of congestion.” As minister in January 2011, he repeated this position. ”We went to the election to say that we had no plans for the tunnel. And that is our policy.”

But inquiries by The Sunday Age have found that, in government, the Coalition had a dramatic change of heart within weeks. And by November 2011, the then Baillieu administration’s top transport priority was the east-west tunnel. Rail projects such as the Melbourne Metro had been pushed back or, in the case of Doncaster rail, effectively abandoned.

The Sunday Age has spoken to senior bureaucrats, consultants and politicians close to the behind-the-scenes deliberations that took place in 2011. Three factors appear key to the government’s elevation of the east-west tunnel above promised projects: money, politics and the make-up of the Victorian bureaucracy.