News State Victoria News ‘The road is not going to be built’

‘The road is not going to be built’

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Labor’s election win in Victoria is a “mandate” to scrap the controversial East West Link, Premier-elect Daniel Andrews says.

Mr Andrews is today seeking advice from government bureaucrats about releasing the business case and all documents relating to the tunnel project.

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Throughout the campaign, Mr Andrews has maintained that the East West Link “isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” and has vowed to tear up the contracts which were signed just before the government went into caretaker mode.

Labor is on track to win at least 47 seats in the election, enough to have a majority in the 88 seat Parliament.

The Coalition have at least 37 seats and the Greens won their first ever seat in the lower house.

I think Labor has a very clear mandate to release the business case and all documentation to do with this project.

Daniel Andrews, Premier-elect

“This has been a rushed, botched and secretive project,” Mr Andrews said of the East West Link Project.

“I think Labor has a very clear mandate to release the business case and all documentation to do with this project and then Victorians can see the true nature of this secretive tunnel.

“The road is not going to be built.

“I stand by each and every one of the election commitments we’ve made.”

When asked why he did not mention the issue in his victory speech, Mr Andrews said he had “different priorities” last night.

Earlier this week the Liberal government ministers claimed taxpayers would be hit with a $1.1billion compensation bill if the project was scrapped.

Mr Andrews said Parliament would be back to work before Christmas.

“We’re not going to be having any long summer breaks here. We’re going to be right back to work,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the first act to pass Parliament would be the Back to Work Act, to provide tax credits to businesses that hire young people and people who have been retrenched or unemployed for a long time.

“We won’t waste a day getting on and getting Victoria back to work,” he said.

He rejected the suggestion that Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s performance had contributed to Labor’s victory in the state poll.

“The Victorian people have voted for a positive and optimistic plan,” he said.

“I am humbled by that. I’m honoured to be given this great responsibility.

“To be given the opportunity to govern is the greatest of gifts.”

Liberals seeking new leader, deputy leader

Denis Napthine announced last night that he would step down as leader.

His deputy, Louise Asher, has also announced she will step down from her position, although she will stay on in Parliament.

Ms Asher said after 22 years in Parliament and 18 years as a frontbencher she felt it was “time for new blood” in the senior ranks of the Liberal Party.

“Given Saturday’s result, it is now time for others to take on the responsibility of Liberal leadership,” she said in a statement.

“Generational change at the top is needed and I wish to encourage a new person to take on the deputy’s role.”

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