News State Victoria Government defends spending on East West Link at the expense of public transport projects

Government defends spending on East West Link at the expense of public transport projects

The second phase of the project, a link to the Western Ring Road will be at the centre of the Government's election campaign.
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The Victorian Government is defending its multi-billion-dollar spending on the East West Link.

The Government plans to put the next stage of the controversial road, from CityLink to the Western Ring Road, at the centre of its election campaign.

The Government has already started preliminary work on the first stage of the project, a $6-8 billion tunnel from the Eastern Freeway to CityLink in Parkville.

Acting Premier Peter Ryan will not put a price tag on the whole project or set a time line.

He told Fairfax Radio the Government had to make a choice between the link and public transport projects like the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel because of the cost.

“The thing about the way we are doing the roads programs is that we are contributing an element of this initial $8 billion cost as we’ve already talked about,” he said.

“To do Metro would require $8 or 9 billion from the public purse.

“You can’t toll a train line.”

Opposition spokesman Tim Pallas wants to know where the money will come from.

“This Government is proposing to spend $14 billion on a single road,” he said.

“That is two decades of public transport and road expenditure on one road.”