Vic Govt Seeks Federal Infrastructure Cash

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Monday, May 5th, 2014
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More money for the East West Link and continued support for hospitals, schools and child care are on the Victorian government’s federal budget wish list.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned Australia will be doomed to many years of economic problems if his government doesn’t hand down a tough budget next week, saying its election promise was to get commonwealth debt under control.

Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien is putting the finishing touches on Tuesday’s state budget, and hopes Canberra will deliver for Victoria on the infrastructure front when it hands down its budget on May 13.

But he said the state understood the federal budget was in a vastly different position to the Victorian budget.

“We’re in surplus, the federal budget is not,” Mr O’Brien told reporters on Monday.

“We’ve had three-and-a-half years to clean up Labor’s mess, the federal government is in their first budget trying to do that.

“So we’re in very different spaces in that regard.”

Mr O’Brien says the Victorian government wants to see the federal budget fund the western section of the East West Link toll road.

The Commonwealth has pledged $1.5 billion for stage one and a further $1.5 billion for the second stage, for the 18km cross-city tunnel connecting the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road.

Both stages are expected to create more than 6000 construction jobs.

“We look forward to see the western section of the East West Link, that’s important for Victoria,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We’d like to see further encouragement for investment in infrastructure, and obviously we’d like to see continuation of federal government support for our hospitals, for our schools, for child care.”

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