The Victorian government have committed to a pay out of $339m for the scrapped project.
The multimillion dollar pay out is for the cancellation of contracts with foreign companies who had agreements with the East-West Link project.
The Andrews Government promised to scrap the project if elected but also promised not to pay compensation for the Liberal approved contracts. The three billion dollars loaned to the former state government for the project will now be put into the Melbourne Metro Rail. The Melbourne Metro Rail Project will transform Melbourne’s rail network into an international-style metro system.
The government said the $339m payout is not compensation, but shows costs incurred so far by the consortium. 3AW reporter Lauren Hilbert said most people are seeing through the government’s smart use of words. “They’re denying it’s compensation but I think that’s probably word games.”
Taxpayers are now set to pay for the cancellation of the project, with a further $81 million in fees to be absorbed by the government, after it was spent to set up a credit facility to borrow the project costs. The government will pay $1 to take over the assets of the East-West Link company that was specifically created for the project.
Mr Andrews said homes acquired for the project would be available for people to return to if they wish. “Anyone who wants to come back to their home will be able to do so,” Mr Andrews said. – Jake Benoiton
Top photo from Takver’s Flickr photostream.