Victorians will never get to see the economic rationale for the state's most expensive transport project, with the Napthine government ruling out public release of the business case for the controversial east-west road tunnel, even after contracts are let.
Treasurer Michael O'Brien confirmed that the business case for the $6 billion to $8 billion tollway to link the Eastern Freeway and CityLink, will never be made public, citing commercial sensitivity.
Secrecy around the business case for the east-west public-private partnership has fuelled concern about the reasoning for a project that the government has struggled to justify.
It is also at odds with a call last year by former Kennett government minister Mark Birrell for the release of business cases for PPPs in light of the financial collapse of toll tunnels in Brisbane and Sydney. Mr Birrell is now the head of private infrastructure lobby Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.
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Napthine, a secretive disaster already!
The supposed "commercial sensitivity" surrounding #EastWestLink's business case is surely just a poor excuse that #SpringSt is hiding behind
— Frank Reinthaler (@FrankReinthaler) August 25, 2013