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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3968

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin) (13:34): Last week I took the opportunity to comb through the Victorian state budget, searching, on behalf of my constituents, for funding for the missing link in Melbourne, and that is the East West Link. It was a hopeful but vain attempt. This was because a fortnight earlier, the Prime Minister and I had recommitted $3 billion to fund the construction of Melbourne's missing East West Link. Instead, we uncovered the Victorian Labor government's plans to tax and borrow to pay for spending commitments that do not include the most important road project in our state—the East West Link. That is right: after throwing away $1.1 billion to rip up the contracts, Labor now wants to reach its hand into the pockets of the people in the eastern suburbs through higher taxes and more tolls to pay for its spending!

Residents in my electorate already know what the experts are now confirming for us: traffic on the Eastern Freeway is getting worse by the day, and the bottlenecks at Hoddle Street and Alexandra Parade represent some of the worst and costliest congestion in the whole country. Our roads are experiencing unprecedented congestion because of Labor's neglect of road infrastructure. The reality is that if it were not for Daniel Andrews, Bill Shorten and Labor, construction of the East West Link would already be underway, saving motorists on the Eastern Freeway up to three hours per week in travel time. I want to assure all of my constituents that we have $3 billion on the table for the East West Link and we will get it built. (Time expired)