Treasurer Tim Pallas today revealed yet another East West Link fraud committed by the Liberals, costing Victorians almost $100 million.
The design of the project, including seven road viaducts, would have left the newly built Evo apartments in West Parkville marooned in the middle of an interchange.
After acknowledging that the Evo apartments weren’t eligible for acquisition, the former Liberal Cabinet subsequently decided to amend the boundary of the East West Link to include a small sliver of land on the property, and forcing the acquisition and the expenditure of almost $100 million in taxpayer dollars.
Documents released by the incoming Labor Government showed East West Link was such a financial disaster that the Victorian Liberals planned to toll every freeway in Melbourne, and increase prices on existing toll routes, to cover up a $2.1 billion black hole at the heart of the project.
The Treasurer said the Business Case was buried by the former Liberal Government due to concerns that “it may be used as a justification for not supporting the project” and the clear existence of a $2.1 billion “funding gap”.
To cover the shortfall, the Business Case outlined plans to toll the West Gate Bridge and toll the entire length of the West Gate Fwy, the Eastern Fwy and the Tullamarine Fwy.
Despite proposed East West tolls of up to $19.20 for light vehicles and $36.00 for heavy vehicles, the Liberal’s Business Case said that “these revenues are not sufficient” to cover the cost of the project.
To meet the shortfall, tolls on EastLink and CityLink were to be increased as a precursor to further increases on the East West Link, along with a new toll on the M1 between the CityLink tunnels and the Bolte Bridge
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“The design of the dud project was secretly and retroactively altered just to trigger a $100 million payout.”
“The whole East West Link project was one of the most expensive and cynical indulgences this state has seen.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020