32The Commonwealth Government will contribute $1.5 billion towards the completion of the western section (stage two) of Melbourne’s East West Link.

This commitment – along with the funding for the western section to be detailed in the 2014-15 Victorian state budget – will enable completion of the full East West Link project.

This landmark road project is an 18 kilometre cross-city road connection extending across Melbourne from the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Road.

It will improve connectivity across Melbourne, provide more direct routes to key destinations, including the airport, the port and the city, alleviate pressure on the Monash-West Gate corridor, take car and truck traffic off local streets in the inner north and west and improve Melbourne’s traffic flow.

Congestion is an increasing problem for Melbourne and completion of this project will mean that people spend less time in traffic and more time with their families, that businesses can get their goods and services to market faster, and that our export industries can be more competitive.

Once the East West Link is completed, motorists will save 15 to 20 minutes in travel time when coming from Geelong, Werribee, Altona and Laverton to the city and other key destinations. For those in Ballarat, Melton or Caroline Springs, it will cut 10 to 15 minutes from travel times into the city.

Not only will the East West Link reduce traffic congestion on Melbourne’s roads and streets, it will also create jobs. Stage one of the project will create 3,200 jobs and stage two will create 3,000 jobs in the construction phase.

The Commonwealth Government will work closely with the Napthine Government to build the nationally significant infrastructure that our cities and our country needs – and that includes Melbourne’s East West Link.

Today’s announcement of a further Commonwealth Government contribution to the project is in addition to the Commonwealth’s $1.5 billion contribution towards the $6 to $8 billion eastern section of the East West Link.

Melbourne is an economic powerhouse but it needs the infrastructure of the 21st century to continue to grow.

The East West Link is a vital and necessary component of Melbourne’s future road network and it will only be built under a Coalition Government.

Today’s announcement is good news for Melbourne and good news for Victoria.

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