The East West Link, a toll road controversially dumped by the Victorian government at a cost of $1.2 billion, has re-emerged in a list of possible future projects.
The “new route” project is among a list of “assumed transport network enhancements” for which roads giant Transurban would forgo compensation because traffic had been diverted from the CityLink toll road.
The list is based on the priorities of independent authority Infrastructure Victoria, which says the link will be needed in the next 30 years.
But the Labor government says it has no plans to re-visit the road, first planned by the former coalition government, with contracts signed just before the 2014 election.
“We’re not daydream believers who spend four years thinking about a project, signing it at the last minute, and not actually getting anything done,” Roads Minister Luke Donnellan told reporters.
“These are projects that people believe might be done in 15 to 30 years time. Well that’s great, but we’re not dreamers we’re doers and here we are, we are actually building a project.”
The list was included alongside the amended Transurban concession deed, which would extend the time the toll giant can collect cash from motorists in return for funding projects including the new West Gate Tunnel.
Mr Donnellan made the comments while announcing boring machines were on their way to dig the $6.7 billion tunnel.
The tunnels will dig at a rate of up to nine metres a day, at least 18 metres underground, 24 hours a day, beneath Yarraville.
About 350 homes will be on top of the tunnel path and all will be assessed before and after the digging in case owners need to be compensated for damage.
“People will feel some noise if they are close by, since the machines are moving at nine metres a day this noise will be approximately three to nine days, they will feel some vibrations and some noise,” Mr Donnellan said.