News National PM still wants East West Link

PM still wants East West Link

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has shared his desire for Victoria’s East West Link to go ahead, despite Labor saying it won’t backflip on an election pledge to scrap it.

Mr Abbott has again said $3 billion in federal funding was tied to the tollway project and may not be available for rival infrastructure projects.

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“It means a much better life for millions of Victorians,” Mr Abbott said during a Melbourne press conference.

“Three billion dollars in Federal money is reserved for the East West link. If they [Labor] have other proposals, by all means put them to us, but we want East West Link built. There’s money put aside…for when the Victorian government comes to its senses.”

Mr Abbott said he would listen to Labor’s other proposals but said “they will have to be argued on their merits”.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised when the new government sits down with its lawyers, if it doesn’t decide that cancelling the East West Link is more trouble than it is worth,” Mr Abbott told Fairfax Radio.

The prime minister said Melbourne’s congested Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade resembled “traffic canyons that need to go back to city boulevards”.

New Premier Daniel Andrews has ruled out building the tollway.

— with AAP

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