East West Houses May Help Needy at Xmas

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Homes compulsorily acquired to build Melbourne’s stalled East West Link project could be used to house needy families at Christmas.

Work on the $6.8 billion road tunnel project has been halted by the new Labor government.

Premier Daniel Andrews says the Victorian government will look at ways to use houses already emptied in preparation for the tunnel.

“I’d like people who want to move back into those homes be given an option to do just that,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“If people choose, having moved on, to not come back to those homes, then I know there are many, many needy families across our community, particularly at this time of year.”

Mr Andrews said using the homes to house needy families at Christmas would be a good outcome for them and the community.

The East West Link business case documents will be released to the media in a lock-up at 9.30am on Monday, before being made public shortly afterwards.

Labor made a pre-election promise not to build stage one of the project, which would connect two of Victoria’s freeways.

Mr Andrews has said discussions about the East West Link’s future with the federal government and the building consortium have been respectful and are ongoing.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said previously that about $3 billion in federal funding for both stages of the East West Link must be returned if the project isn’t built.


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