Finance Finance News Vic Labor says predecessor “cooked the books” on East West Link

Vic Labor says predecessor “cooked the books” on East West Link

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The Victorian Government’s analysis of the East West Link (EWL) business case suggests the project would increase traffic congestion on Melbourne’s existing freeways and has a $2 billion funding black hole.

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 The Government today released the long-awaited documents – which the former Napthine government refused to release while in power – despite preliminary contracts being signed by their predecessors.

New Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made an election promise to scrap the project, and last week ordered all preliminary works on the road to be suspended.

Today, Labor said its predecessor “cooked the books” to make it more attractive, and it would have been one of the most expensive road projects in the state.

“The project is expected to benefit a number of users, however, at the same time, it will increase traffic at already congested location (on the Eastern and Tullamarine Freeways in particular) which erodes the overall project benefits cost reduction.”

Mr Pallas said the revised business plan, written three months later, was an attempt to “put the best possible light” on the East West Link project.

The revised version said the $6.8 billion project would “change the face of Melbourne”, with the cost of congestion in the city predicted to reach around $6 billion by 2021.

But former treasurer Michael O’Brien said a city the size of Melbourne could not afford to have only one east-west crossing.