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Melbourne Port lottery win a happy problem

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016 Angus Livingston

Like lottery winners who suddenly have long-lost friends in need of a handout, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will have to learn to say "no" a lot.

Getting $9.7 billion for the 50-year lease of Melbourne's port was well beyond any predictions and leaves the government with some happy problems.

Pour some of the extra cash removing more level crossings in marginal seats? Avoid the messy Skyrail elevated tracks in contentious areas? A new freeway? It's all on the table.

The windfall also means every Spring St lobby group will take a hard line chasing the government, palm out.

Mr Andrews and Treasurer Tim Pallas will have to say "no" and say "no" again if they're to make the most out of this unexpected cash.

But for a government facing internal problems money can't fix, it sure is nice to have enough money to shore up some tight seats.

The 2014 election was a lot closer than it looked, and the marginal sand-belt seats in Melbourne's southeast are the battleground for 2018.

They're also next in line for potential elevated rail not far from the beach - a cheap but unpopular fix for level crossings.

If Mr Andrews can avoid another divisive Skyrail battle going into the election he'll have another reason to be thankful for winning the port lottery.

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