Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has rejected suggestions his government would consider resurrecting the dumped East West Link if Canberra offers to fully fund the project.
The premier’s comments on Friday follow unconfirmed reports the federal government is thinking about fully bankrolling the East West Link in a bid to help embattled Victorian colleagues.
Mr Andrews said Victorian voters have “resoundingly rejected” the East West Link project.
“This notion that if the Commonwealth pays for it, then a dud project becomes a good one – no. It remains a dud,” he told reporters.
The premier said the state government is already working to build major infrastructure projects that Victorians support.
The coalition should be using taxpayers’ money on projects that voters want, he added.
“Rather than playing political games about projects that don’t stack up and have been rejected, I think Morrison should fund the Waurn Ponds rail project, which is critically important and does stack up,” Mr Andrews said.
On Friday federal Education Minister Dan Teehan said the East West Link is important for addressing Melbourne’s congestion problems.
“The East West Link is something that the government has supported for many years,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
“The great shame is the road hasn’t been built by the Andrews government.”
Contracts for the controversial 18-kilometre toll road project were signed under the Liberal Napthine government in 2014, but torn up when Labor took power.
The East West Link would have connected the Eastern Freeway and CityLink through a tunnel underneath Melbourne’s congested inner northern suburbs.
Not building the road has cost the Victorian government more than $1.2 billion.