A $2 billion project to create an open-air bridge linking Perth to Hobart has been delayed until 2018.
Key points:A $2.5 billion bridge connecting Perth to Melbourne is due to be built by 2018The Federal Government is currently building the bridge in a remote area of the north-west of the stateThe project is to link the two cities on the north west coastThe Federal Opposition has slammed the Government for delayThe Government is building a $2bn bridge to connect Perth to the city of Melbourne in the remote north-western corner of the country.
It is due for completion in 2023.
“We’ve got a bridge that we’ve been working on for decades that will be built in 2026,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt told ABC Radio Hobart.
“It is the largest bridge in the world.
It’s going to be a massive project.””
This bridge will be an example of how we move forward in this area and that’s what we’ve done.”
The bridge will connect Perth and Melbourne via a 1.5 kilometre (1.6 mile) tunnel, which will be linked by an elevated rail line.
Construction began last year, but the Government has now delayed the project until 2018 after a court case.
Mr Hunt said the decision was taken after considering public interest and environmental concerns, and taking into account the current and future needs of the communities in which the project is built.
“There is no justification to delay it for another six years,” he said.
“This is an outstanding bridge and it’s going in the right direction.”
Construction work will start this year, with a $500,000 donation by local business owners to support the project.
The Government has said the bridge will not only connect the two states but also the surrounding areas, as well as regional and national highways.
“The construction of the new bridge will allow the Government to deliver the economic benefits it has promised, by connecting both Perth and the City of Melbourne,” Mr Hunt said.