Peter Costello

Media Transcripts

Scoresby Freeway

TRANSCRIPT

THE HON PETER COSTELLO MP
Treasurer

Transcript of Interview

Tuesday, 15 April 2003

 

SUBJECTS: Scoresby Freeway

JOURNALIST:

Mr Costello, can I get your reaction to today's tolling questions in Victoria?

TREASURER:

The Commonweath Government has allocated $445 million dollars, 50 per cent of an $890 million project to build a freeway in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Now, we have a signed agreement with the Victorian Government to do that work. And what Mr Bracks has now announced is that he is reneging on that agreement. And of that $890 million he wants to short-change the residents of Melbourne's eastern suburbs by taking away $690 million and making them pay tolls on their roads instead. Now, the Commonwealth Government calls on the Victorian Labor Government to honour the agreement. The agreement is an $890 million freeway, which is a free-way, not a tollway. And the Victorian Government has a signed agreement it will not be applying tolls. Stick to the agreement, honour your word Mr Bracks, and give the people of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne what they were promised, which was a freeway.

JOURNALIST:

He is also breaking an election pledge, or an election promise by it, by putting this tollway on there. I mean what is your reaction to that?

TREASURER:

Well, this is a breach of his promise to the Victorian people and a breach of his written promise entered into with the Commonwealth Government. The document says here, Victoria undertakes to ensure that users of the Scoresby Freeway will not be required to pay a direct toll.

So, the Victorian Labor Party is breaking its word to the people of Melbourne's eastern suburbs. It is breaking a written agreement with the Commonwealth Government. It is trying to take away $690 million of road funding from Melbourne's eastern suburbs and it wants the residents to pay tolls to use their own roads for the next 30 years.

JOURNALIST:

The Federal Government was going to put in over $450 million, as you have said, for Victorian Roads. This toll, it's projected, will raise about $300 million. What will the Federal Government be doing with that money that they collect?

TREASURER:

The Federal Government intends to stick by the written agreement. Mr Bracks should sack his transport minister immediately and announce that he will honour his word and he will honour this contract. The contract is very clear, $445 million from the Commonwealth, that is on the table; $445 million from the Victorian Government, that should be on the table, no tolls. We are calling on the Victorian Government to honour its word, its election commitment and to honour this written contract that it has with the Commonwealth Government.

15 Apr 2003

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