06 December 2014

East West Link crucial for jobs and Geelong: Letter to Geelong Advertiser

Featured in the Geelong Advertiser, 6 Dec 2014

Dear Editor

I congratulate incoming Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, and his team on winning the Victorian election.

In one of his first acts as Premier, Mr Andrews must do the right thing and honour the contracts to build Stage 1 of the East West Link.

Ripping up these contracts and shutting down this project would be an act of economic vandalism. It would create an unacceptable sovereign risk, expose Victoria to a reported $1 billion in damages and destroy almost 7000 jobs.

We desperately need this project, particularly Stage 2 which would provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge and cut peak hour travel times for Geelong commuters by 3 hours a week. Improved transport links between Melbourne, Geelong and south-west Victoria would, in turn, boost our local economy including by encouraging more businesses and families to move to our region.

This project provides so many opportunities for Geelong manufacturing workers at a time when every job matters.

That’s why Mr Andrews must put jobs before politics and back the East West Link. If this project is shut down, $3 billion in Federal funding will also be lost.

For the sake of jobs and our economy, the construction of Stage 2 must also be fast tracked.

Once again, I call on local unions to stand up for jobs and their members and put pressure on State Labor to back this vital infrastructure project.

Sarah Henderson
Federal Member for Corangamite