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Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Page: 10942


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (14:39): My question is to the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. I ask the minister to update the House on the latest developments on the East West Link in Melbourne. I further ask whether the minister is aware of any risks to this important project and other vital investments across our country.

Mr BRIGGS (MayoAssistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:39): It is a great privilege to answer a question from the member for Casey, who is a great fighter for this project along with the member for Deakin and other colleagues in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, including the Minister for the Environment, who mentioned last week that he should have been included. The member for Aston is fighting for this project as well, as is the member for Dunkley, the Minister for Small Business. All are fighting very hard for the eastern side of the project, and you can understand why. A traffic study from Traffic Group found that average travel time savings for vehicles using East West Link would be 27 minutes for westbound Eastern Freeway to Citylink traffic in the AM peak and 33 minutes for eastbound Citylink to Eastern Freeway traffic in the PM peak. The maximum travel time savings for vehicles using East West Link would be 40 minutes for westbound Eastern Freeway to Citylink at AM peak and 55 minutes for eastbound Citylink to Eastern Freeway in the PM peak.

Earlier this week the Premier of Victoria got on with the job, as we wanted him to do, and signed the contracts for the delivery of the first stage of East West. The member for Casey can tell his constituents, who have been fighting for this—

Mr Conroy interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Charlton is warned.

Mr BRIGGS: how important that signing session was earlier this week. It includes, of course, bike paths as well. There are bike paths as part of the project—a comprehensive investment in bike paths, which I understand the Scooter Appreciation Society has endorsed, as part of the project.

Mr Albanese interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Grayndler will desist or leave. The choice is yours.

Mr BRIGGS: It comes from a report done by Sir Rod Eddington that was supported by the group of four MPs from the western suburbs of Melbourne because they want the western side done as well, and that is fair enough. I appreciate the passion of the member for Maribyrnong for the western side of this project to be completed, because that too will have huge benefits, as the member for Corangamite argues: benefits to the people of the member for Corio in his electorate and the member for Ballarat in her electorate.

All of these benefits will be put at risk—these 3,700 jobs on the eastern side project alone—if Andrew Daniels gets his way and rips up the contract later in the—

Mr Mitchell: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Maybe the lunch boy should be made to refer to members by their proper title! The name of the Leader of the Opposition is Daniel Andrews, and this two-bit humour is just not worth it.

The SPEAKER: The minister has the call, and he will refer to people by their correct titles when referring to members.

Mr BRIGGS: I think the member for McEwen should get back to tweeting while he's in the chair!

It is a very important project, and it is a risk because you have a Labor Party who is opposing this very important investment and these 3,700 jobs on the eastern side alone. The member for Maribyrnong got it right when he put in a submission supporting the East West Link. The member for Maribyrnong should overrule the member for South Sydney and make sure this project goes ahead.