The East West Link, a question

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

woodford puts on flame proof suite........

How come its OK for the previous governement to sign a contract basicly when they are about to be thrown out because of the said contract. When the likely reason for signing the contract is to put a noose around the neck of the next government. It being almost certain ALL parties know the reason for signing.

And its NOT OK for the next government to work the system to try and recover the situation, it appears the liberal party signed the contract out of spite, if that was the case they should suffer for it, NOT the people of the state or any other party.

woodford now heads for the bunker............. Wink

"one should never take life to seriously"

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
woodford puts on flame proof suite........

How come its OK for the previous governement to sign a contract basicly when they are about to be thrown out because of the said contract. When the likely reason for signing the contract is to put a noose around the neck of the next government. It being almost certain ALL parties know the reason for signing.
woodford
Happy to be corrected, but I'm quite sure it was because they signed the contracts before the caretaker period started. I also believe they had control of the Senate?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I understand the former Coalition government lifted the penalty clause parts of the East - West Link contract directly out of the former Brumby ALP government's contract for the Wonthaggi desalination plant.

The Libs and Nats were against the desal plant, but despite that, the contract was signed at the end of Labour's term of government.

When the Libs and Nats took over, they examined the contract and found that the penalty clauses were so stringent that if they cancelled the desal, they'd have to pay the contractors most of the contracted price anyway and they'd get nothing in return. So despite the then government being against it, the desal plant was built during the Coalition's term of government.

It looks like the Coalition basically did to Labour what Labour did to them. These sort of "iron-clad" contracts show a pettiness and unwillingness to accept the voting decisions of ordinary people from both Liberal and Labour.

If the East- West Link contract is as iron clad as the desal contract was, the new(ish) Labour government would be bonkers to pay for it and not have it built. That would be the ultimate display of childish petulance. But they're a fairly savvy outfit, so I reckon that East - West Link will be built despite the incumbent government not liking it, just as the desal plant was built when the then government opposed it.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Let us put the desalination plant put into perspective...

The contract for the desal plant was signed well over 1 year from the 2010 election which the Brumby Labor government subsequently lost...

On 30 June 2009, the consortium AquaSure, which is made up of [color=#0b0080][size=2][font=sans-serif]Degremont[/font][/size][/color], [color=#0b0080][size=2][font=sans-serif]Macquarie Capital[/font][/size][/color] and [color=#0b0080][size=2][font=sans-serif]Thiess[/font][/size][/color], was chosen as the winning bidder.[color=#0b0080][17][/color] Simultaneously, it was announced that construction was scheduled to commence in late 2009, proposing that water be delivered by late 2011.

Wikipedia.

The former Napthine government signed the east-West contract less than 2 months from the 2014 state election.

Mike.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Along the lines of what Mikey said, I was under the impression that the De Sal plant was well into constructionwhen the Libs assumed government.
  S308 Station Master

If the East- West Link contract is as iron clad as the desal contract was, the new(ish) Labour government would be bonkers to pay for it and not have it built.
Bogong
I honestly fail to understand how this type of commentary can still be found now that most of the facts are out in the open.

Even a one billion dollar penalty would be the cheapest way out of this mess.

The cost of building the tunnel would be many many times that amount - almost 20 times.

Even with the federal government chipping in a few billion, it's like a friend signing you up for Foxtel. Sure they've paid the upfront costs, but then you're stuck with the monthly subscription *cough* availability payment. The availability payments for the tunnel would come close to 18 billion dollars. EIGHTEEN BILLION.

Think of what could be achieved with that amount of infrastructure investment - truly state-building infrastructure, not a crappy tunnel for the benefit of Linfox and a few punters in the inner east.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Technically (legally) the Libs were within their rights to sign the East West contract but morally they certainly were not.
I find it difficult to understand why they took the action that they did when they did - it certainly appeared to be very hasty given the rate at which these things normally move.

Was it:

Arrogance - we'll get back?
Desperation - an attempt to secure work for their mates knowing that they would lose the election?
Simply to make trouble for the incoming government, again knowing that they would lose the election?
Just pure plain incompetence?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Even with the federal government chipping in a few billion, it's like a friend signing you up for Foxtel. Sure they've paid the upfront costs, but then you're stuck with the monthly subscription *cough* availability payment. The availability payments for the tunnel would come close to 18 billion dollars. EIGHTEEN BILLION.
S308
I was under the impression that $18 billion was just the capital cost, and that availability payments totaled an undisclosed amount?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well there's another current thread discussing the issue that Melbourne will be gridlocked within a few years.

Now people have a right to say that East - West Link shouldn't be built, BUT, only if they come up with another solution to the problem of getting traffic from the Eastern Freeway to the Tulla (Stage 1) and the southern end of the Tulla to the Western Ring Road (Stage 2).

The project was designed to not only reduce pressure on the current roads that connect these three motorways, but also to divert traffic that would take the southern city bypass through the busy tunnels and over the utterly clogged Westgate bridge, onto a new northern city bypass.

So if the East - West Link is to be abandoned, what is the alternative? ... and no, a Doncaster rail line won't take many of the cars and trucks that want to get from the eastern suburbs to the western suburbs off the road... and obviously ever worsening traffic jams only cripple Melbourne further.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The alternative is a better public transport network, especially buses, feeding into existing rail lines which can be used for cross-city travel. That way, people who have the option to leave their cars at home can do so knowing that they can easily and conveniently get between point A and point B.
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

I'm not going even bother writing any decent reply regarding this because everyone here is biased against the tunnel thinking the Melbourne Metro should go ahead over the East - West Link aswell as Level Crossing Removals (50 in 8 years).
Just to put this in context though, there are many improvements to the existing network that need to be made before the Melbourne Metro can be viable, i can't understand why you'd spend such a large amount of money on a project when the rest of the network is still running infrastructure from the 60's??
50 - 8 years is impossible. This is fact. It doesn't improve congestion, it only improves safety, this is known fact and prove of this can be seen in Sydney.
The East - West Link will be built, regardless now or in 10 years probably for an extra $1 Billion so meh.
Labor we're crooks in the last stretch of being in power, they will no doubt be the same during the stretch.

No more comments for me regarding this thread that's for sure lol.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
So if the East - West Link is to be abandoned, what is the alternative? ... and no, a Doncaster rail line won't take many of the cars and trucks that want to get from the eastern suburbs to the western suburbs off the road... and obviously ever worsening traffic jams only cripple Melbourne further.
Bogong
I'm sure the original Eddington East West report had 2/3 of the traffic on the Eastern everyday going to the CBD. So the giant traffic jam at the end of the Eastern would still be there regardless of if EW Link was built or not, and no doubt the Hoddle St off ramp would have to be squeezed to make room for the tunnel. IIRC only 7-8% of Eastern traffic ended up on Citylink / Tulla. Presumably spending $18 bill to benefit 8% of one traffic jam is the very measure of prudent spending? I would be genuinely interested how any of the EW link promoters in this thread would propose to solve this problem.

The best way to solve the East - West problem is connecting the Eastern to the Ring Road, traffic not going to the centre of town can go around it. And as said above and as I've said numerous times before; building a decent public transport system frees up the road for trucks and tradies and those who can't take the train.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
I'm sure the original Eddington East West report had 2/3 of the traffic on the Eastern everyday going to the CBD.
HardSleeper
Here's the graphic I'm looking for from page 130 of the 2008 Eddington report (found here):



2/3 into the CBD, 1/3 straight down Hoddle St.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
How credible Is the stated 7000 Jobs that the Link will generate, that media bangs on about ?

It started at about 3000 and went up every time It was talked up !
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
How credible Is the stated 7000 Jobs that the Link will generate, that media bangs on about ?

It started at about 3000 and went up every time It was talked up !
Nightfire
Probably the Liberals trying to talk it up.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

If Labor had balls they would introduce a bill into parliament. The name of the bill:
The Liberal Party Contract Incompetence Reversal Act

The Liberal party should be grateful because another name could be "The Liberal Party Corrupt Dealings Reversal Act".

Labor should pass an Act of parliament to cancel the contract.
Private companies will be put on notice - getting your Liberal buddies to sign a stupid contract weeks before the election will not guarantee you a nice fat profit.

As clearly stated above, only 9% of the traffic is travelling to the other side of the city.
It looks like East West Link project was clearly inspired by Liberal Party donations.
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

If Labor had balls they would introduce a bill into parliament. The name of the bill:
The Liberal Party Contract Incompetence Reversal Act

The Liberal party should be grateful because another name could be "The Liberal Party Corrupt Dealings Reversal Act".

Labor should pass an Act of parliament to cancel the contract.
Private companies will be put on notice - getting your Liberal buddies to sign a stupid contract weeks before the election will not guarantee you a nice fat profit.

As clearly stated above, only 9% of the traffic is travelling to the other side of the city.
It looks like East West Link project was clearly inspired by Liberal Party donations.
tom9876543

Your an absolute looney!
How can you introduce legislation like that into Parliament? Put companies on notice? Are you F*cking for real?
The contract is bloody legit and is costed effectively and fairly, Victoria was getting a ripper deal. If you rip that contract up by introducing legislation, you have no idea how much that would affect business confidence in dealing with the Victorian Government.
How is this project corrupt? Give me facts.
There's great benefits in this project and also, you need to accept, we need ANOTHER river crossing now, not later, the West Gate Bridge is already over capacity, how long are you prepared for this to continue on?

By Donations?? Such slander, give everyone here proof of this otherwise that's downright slander! It's a PUBLIC-PRIVATE Partnership you moron! Citylink was the same, Labor opposed that aswell and imagine if we didn't have it?

The nerve..
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

If Labor had balls they would introduce a bill into parliament. The name of the bill:
The Liberal Party Contract Incompetence Reversal Act

The Liberal party should be grateful because another name could be "The Liberal Party Corrupt Dealings Reversal Act".

Labor should pass an Act of parliament to cancel the contract.
Private companies will be put on notice - getting your Liberal buddies to sign a stupid contract weeks before the election will not guarantee you a nice fat profit.

As clearly stated above, only 9% of the traffic is travelling to the other side of the city.
It looks like East West Link project was clearly inspired by Liberal Party donations.

Your an absolute looney!
How can you introduce legislation like that into Parliament? Put companies on notice? Are you F*cking for real?
The contract is bloody legit and is costed effectively and fairly, Victoria was getting a ripper deal. If you rip that contract up by introducing legislation, you have no idea how much that would affect business confidence in dealing with the Victorian Government.
How is this project corrupt? Give me facts.
There's great benefits in this project and also, you need to accept, we need ANOTHER river crossing now, not later, the West Gate Bridge is already over capacity, how long are you prepared for this to continue on?

By Donations?? Such slander, give everyone here proof of this otherwise that's downright slander! It's a PUBLIC-PRIVATE Partnership you moron! Citylink was the same, Labor opposed that aswell and imagine if we didn't have it?

The nerve..
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
It's a PUBLIC-PRIVATE Partnership you moron!
mickamious
Ask Sydney and Brisbane how well their latest toll roads went. If I recall right they didn't do too well due to over optimistic projections of traffic versus reality.

You also seem to miss the point that even the last government cant get the numbers to stack up even into make the tunnel work. I somehow doubt if you add on the tolls that are needed to make the profit back on the road in 50 years you could get anywhere close to the projected vehicles through the tunnel.

Like others have said, the completion of the ring road would work better for the Eastern half of Victoria, as it would allow quicker connections to the Hume freeway from Gippsland and Dandenong.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
No more comments for me regarding this thread that's for sure lol.
mickamious

Your an absolute looney!
How can you introduce legislation like that into Parliament? Put companies on notice? Are you F*cking for real?
The contract is bloody legit and is costed effectively and fairly, Victoria was getting a ripper deal. If you rip that contract up by introducing legislation, you have no idea how much that would affect business confidence in dealing with the Victorian Government.
How is this project corrupt? Give me facts.
mickamious

With the expectation that your self-imposed thread exile will continue...

The EW Link was incredibly poor value for money. Signing off on a 0.48 cost-benefit ratio project (as written in the business case) is either incompetence or evidence of corruption. I tend towards attributing it to the former, but the latter is always possible. Oh, and said project has/had a contract that involves hundreds of millions of dollars of annual 'availability payments' being made by the State Government - payments that exceed the costs of paying off an equivalent amount of government-acquired (i.e sovereign) debt! That's not a 'ripper deal', that's a rip-off.

I don't expect the D'Andrews to legislate the contract out of existence. I'd wager he'll use the threat of such legislation to extract a low compensation concession from the consortium. How much? Who knows.

There are probably plenty of other projects out there, road and rail alike, that are far more cost-effective for the Victorian Govt. to invest in. They certainly won't have the gravitas of a 'second river crossing' (which Stage 1 of EWLink was never going to do anyhow - remember, that's the project we're talking about!), but at least they won't drain exorbitant sums from the Government's meagre coffers.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

If Labor had balls they would introduce a bill into parliament. The name of the bill:
The Liberal Party Contract Incompetence Reversal Act

The Liberal party should be grateful because another name could be "The Liberal Party Corrupt Dealings Reversal Act".

Labor should pass an Act of parliament to cancel the contract.
Private companies will be put on notice - getting your Liberal buddies to sign a stupid contract weeks before the election will not guarantee you a nice fat profit.

As clearly stated above, only 9% of the traffic is travelling to the other side of the city.
It looks like East West Link project was clearly inspired by Liberal Party donations.
tom9876543
@Tom

I am with Mickamious with this. You may not like what the Coalition had done with the EWL, namely rushed through the project, they may have tried a bit of Political Chicanery of which the ALP is guilty of as well, but you cannot take that as being corrupt any more than the ALP's dealings with the Desalination plant, it is a stupid and slanderous thing to say without any proof. I had a gutful of that Class War BS in the UK, we do not need it here.

To be objective, the ALP were in power for 11 years and had eliminated 2 or 3 crossings, the Coalition 4 or 5 in 4 years. 50 in 8 years cannot be done. As for the Melbourne Metro, I do not think it should be built grafted on to a fragile commuter system. Get the existing system working first.

Michael
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Your an absolute looney!
How can you introduce legislation like that into Parliament? Put companies on notice? Are you F*cking for real?
The contract is bloody legit and is costed effectively and fairly, Victoria was getting a ripper deal. If you rip that contract up by introducing legislation, you have no idea how much that would affect business confidence in dealing with the Victorian Government.
How is this project corrupt? Give me facts.
There's great benefits in this project and also, you need to accept, we need ANOTHER river crossing now, not later, the West Gate Bridge is already over capacity, how long are you prepared for this to continue on?

By Donations?? Such slander, give everyone here proof of this otherwise that's downright slander! It's a PUBLIC-PRIVATE Partnership you moron! Citylink was the same, Labor opposed that aswell and imagine if we didn't have it?

The nerve..
mickamious
@Mickamious

You do not need to resort to name calling to get your point across!!! The Project is not corrupt at all, I agree with you on that, but you must admit that the undue haste that the project was put together, without proper planning gave cause for alarm.

I also think that the Missing link in the Ring Road rather than blighting whole inner suburbs so that some trucks travel through the inner core and save 20 minutes on their journey is selfsh to say the least. Remember most commuters will not travel from East to West and you mention the Westgate, well the Eastern link is being built first so the argument about the Westgate is moot. We need more roads, just by pass the centre of the city. We need more people living in the Inner Suburbs not forcing them out to the fringe so that Melbourne sprawls.

Michael
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Ask Sydney and Brisbane how well their latest toll roads went. If I recall right they didn't do too well due to over optimistic projections of traffic versus reality.
speedemon08
Yes, as one who lives in Sydney, and uses the Cross City Tunnel a couple of times a week, I can say that with a single lane each way it would not be crowded even in peak hour. Yes, it is a quick way of getting from West to East of the CBD or vv (it could take 20-30 minutes on the surface at times) but the projections prior to construction were way way way too optimistic. Of course the owner went belly up within a couple of years.

All the parties concerned have cottoned on to writing contracts in such a way that it is very costly to get out if second thoughts (ie - change of Government) occurs. NSW had this problem many years ago when an election promise by Bob Carr to repeal the Toll on the M4 and M5 could not be delivered unless at huge cost, which gave birth to the Cashback Scheme.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

The contract is bloody legit and is costed effectively and fairly, Victoria was getting a ripper deal.
mickamious
Apparently the company will get $1 BILLION for doing virtually NOTHING, if project is cancelled. Can you explain how that is a "ripper deal" for Victoria? If you truly think it is a "ripper deal", please send me $1 million tomorrow, for doing nothing. I can easily justify it, its my projected future income for the next 20 years.....


If you rip that contract up by introducing legislation, you have no idea how much that would affect business confidence in dealing with the Victorian Government.
mickamious
Of course no one knows for sure, but the "business confidence" issue could simply be a red herring. Companies will know that major projects need a clear election vote and victory, before they can proceed. I think that is a good thing.


How is this project corrupt? Give me facts.
mickamious
The Liberal Party refused to release the business case. When it was eventually released, we find the benefit was only 45c for every $1 spent. Clearly it was not in the best interests of Victoria for the EW Link to proceed. We also have the 2008 report that clearly shows only 9% of traffic is actually travelling to the other side of the city.


we need ANOTHER river crossing now, not later, the West Gate Bridge is already over capacity, how long are you prepared for this to continue on?
mickamious
You failed to realise that the East West Link doesn't cross any rivers... http://www.ycat.org.au/?p=2275


Citylink was the same, Labor opposed that aswell and imagine if we didn't have it?
mickamious
According to Wikipedia, Citylink was first announced in May 1992. Lets see, who was in power then.... why it was LABOR. If there was massive opposition to Citylink, this would of affected the 1992 election. Kennett won the election on 3rd October 1992 and of course proceeded with the project. The contract was awarded in 1995, that is at least 3 months and probably 6 or more months before the 30th March 1996 election. You have got basic facts wrong again.

The East West link wasn't winning the Liberals any votes.
The business case clearly shows there's no economic benefit for Victoria.
Can you give one good reason why the Liberals absolutely had to sign a major construction contract 2 months from an election?


Such slander
mickamious
I have provided clear evidence that your grasp of reality is questionable.
You have called me a "looney" and a "moron", is that slander?

And for reference.... Bracks government deserved to lose the election because of they Myki disaster. From memory it was $1 BILLION over budget.... I think the Labor party was "influenced" by the consortium to ensure the contract wasn't cancelled.
  TedHanson Junior Train Controller

Not quite. It was $121 million, which is enough. The original contract prices were $494 million for software, hardware and installation plus $50 million per year running costs ($500 million over ten years). At the time, Metcard was costing $42 million per year to run, but only covered Melbourne. As much as it sounds, $494 million was not going to be anywhere near enough given the requirements of the fare structure. When difficulties emerged in 2007/08, the Brumby government had two choices. Cancel the contract because the winning bidder had failed to deliver (like they did in NSW, but would have sparked lawsuits as has happened in NSW) or negotiate with Kamco to get the project operating. They chose the latter, and paid another $121 million for additional software and hardware. This was part of additional expenditure of $333 million announced by Minister Kosky in 2008. The other $212 million was for the five year extension of Metcard from March 2007 to March 2012. Just why Kosky never made this clear can only be accounted for by her complete lack of knowledge of her portfolio. No doubt DTF wanted a program to attach this funding to, and Myki seemed more convenient than Metcard. But the true cost of the “blowout” is $121 million. In other words, $121 million on top of the original contract price of $994 million, a 12.2% increase. Mind you, that’s large enough, but it is paying for a lot more than extra work on software. Because of the kerfuffle about not being able to “touch off”, hundreds of extra readers were installed.  Also, with the extension of the bus network services since the original contract was signed, an additional 100 buses were fitted with Myki equipment.

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