Henderson says East West Link must be built

February 26, 2016 BY

CORANGAMITE Sarah Henderson says a report from Infrastructure Australia (IA) shows the East West Link must be built, but she is less committed to IA’s recommendation to sell off the National Broadband Network (NBN).

In reports released earlier this month, IA has outlined the strategy for what needs to be done over the next 15 years.

This includes an infrastructure priority list, which connectivity between Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway and CityLink – as would have been done by the now-cancelled East West Link – as a “high priority She said the Andrews government’s decision to pay $1.1 billion in compensation not to build the East West Link was “one of the most reckless political decisions in Victoria’s history”.

“The Western Distributor is very Melbournecentric and a poor cousin to the East West Link, which does nothing for the long-term needs of the Geelong and Corangamite regions. “Without action, the cost of road congestion in the Melbourne-Geelong area is projected to increase from $3 billion in 2011 to $9 billion in 2031.”

The IA Australian Infrastructure Plan’s other recommendations include privatising the NBN in the medium term (within 10 years) and possibly breaking it up into smaller companies based on technology or geographic location.

The government-owned NBN Co is not expected to complete the NBN until at least 2020, but there have been reports that the federal government is considering privatising the NBN before the rollout Asked if she supported the idea of selling the NBN, completed or not, Ms Henderson said: “Infrastructure Australia is an independent statutory body with a board of experts and the government will carefully consider the recommendations in the report.

“The government has no plans to sell NBN at this time and therefore will not speculate on the potential asset value of a completed national broadband network.”