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2015 Budget: East West Link still on the cards, Victoria to repay $1.5 billion

East West Link still on the cards, Victoria to repay $1.5 billion

East West Link still on the cards, Victoria to repay $1.5 billionMelbourne’s East West Link is still a priority for the government and the Victorian Government is to repay $1.5 billion in unspent funding, following the 2015 Budget announcement last night.

Included in the Budget is the Commonwealth Government’s commitment of $3 billion to the first Victorian Government willing to build the East West Link, a commitment reaffirmed in a joint statement from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and Assistant Minister.

“The Victorian Government will waste over half a billion dollars not to build this world class project but the East West Link may still be reinstated at a later date by a government willing to do the right thing by the people of Victoria. To this end, the Commonwealth Government has revised the forward estimates, including the return of $1.5 billion of unspent funding from the Victorian Government, consistent with obligations under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Victorian Government and the Commonwealth,” said the statement.

“The Commonwealth Government regards the much-needed East West Link as a project of national significance that will create thousands of jobs and reduce congestion for Victorians,” according to the statement.

The 2015 Budget also includes:

– $5 billion for northern Australia Infrastructure Facility that will be available for major infrastructure projects such as ports, railways, pipelines and electricity generation.

– A further $100 million to improve roads and supply chains for the beef industry in northern Australia.

– $499 million for road infrastructure in Western Australia following a GST revenue shortfall.

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