The East West Link, a question

 
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Madjikthise. I agree with you that state governments need to spend more on developing infrastructure, I also agree that we can't fund all of it by debt or we'll have a interest bill so huge that it will cripple us once interest rates go back up to their usual levels.

However I disagree with you about funding it with new taxes, the economy is not doing well and new taxes (whether they are targeted to individuals or companies) will only reduce spending and confidence further. So instead I'd suggest "asset recycling", where the state government funds a project and pays for it by selling an earlier project. Yes, this can apply to subsidising a toll road (which would revert to the government after around 40 years), but it also mean things like upgrading the Townsville - Mt Isa rail line (which no Qld government will ever be able to pay for), by selling a long lease of the line.

This concept of selling a long lease of an asset to pay for a much needed new asset needn't only apply to transport infrastructure. In Victoria the government owned hotels like the Buffalo Chalet and funded improvements  for 90 years by leasing it out to the highest bidder. What could have been a drain on government revenue became "a nice little earner" until the place became so run down that no one would take on the lease. Still, a 90 year life for an asset is pretty good.

Yes, asset recycling is far from perfect, but I reckon it's a better way of funding new infrastructure than raising taxes in a struggling economy or worse still, increasing government debt to levels that will be unsustainable once interest rates go back to normal levels.

P.S. Please say hi to Vroomfondel for me. Wink

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  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Governments can live on credit perpetually, actually that's the standard modus operandi of Governments all around the world. Since credit was invented millenia ago Governments have borrowed to pay to build things now that will have long term benefit.

The idea of zero debt is a recent one that came out of the whole Friedmanist movement.

I have yet to meet a single conservative who actually understands debt and deficit, public and private debt, etc. Its become the thing to do to say "debt is bad/borrowing is bad" without actually understanding the finances or economic history. Its just face value repetition of the party line.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Furthermore the cost of borrowing is low at the moment. If you are going to borrow to build, now is the time to do it.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

Madjikthise. I agree with you that state governments need to spend more on developing infrastructure, I also agree that we can't fund all of it by debt or we'll have a interest bill so huge that it will cripple us once interest rates go back up to their usual levels.

However I disagree with you about funding it with new taxes, the economy is not doing well and new taxes (whether they are targeted to individuals or companies) will only reduce spending and confidence further. So instead I'd suggest "asset recycling", where the state government funds a project and pays for it by selling an earlier project. Yes, this can apply to subsidising a toll road (which would revert to the government after around 40 years), but it also mean things like upgrading the Townsville - Mt Isa rail line (which no Qld government will ever be able to pay for), by selling a long lease of the line.

This concept of selling a long lease of an asset to pay for a much needed new asset needn't only apply to transport infrastructure. In Victoria the government owned hotels like the Buffalo Chalet and funded improvements  for 90 years by leasing it out to the highest bidder. What could have been a drain on government revenue became "a nice little earner" until the place became so run down that no one would take on the lease. Still, a 90 year life for an asset is pretty good.

Yes, asset recycling is far from perfect, but I reckon it's a better way of funding new infrastructure than raising taxes in a struggling economy or worse still, increasing government debt to levels that will be unsustainable once interest rates go back to normal levels.

P.S. Please say hi to Vroomfondel for me. Wink
Bogong
Actually I said I DON'T want new taxes, it was woodford who proposed it.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Yes, asset recycling is far from perfect, but I reckon it's a better way of funding new infrastructure than raising taxes in a struggling economy or worse still, increasing government debt to levels that will be unsustainable once interest rates go back to normal levels.
Bogong
What assets are there left to 'recycle' in Victoria? The Port of Melbourne is the only one I can think of and last year it was a bipartisan policy to flog it off. Jeff got all the low-hanging fruit, there's nothing left.

Privatisation only works as long as you have things left to sell (particularly the juicy natural monopolies on gas and electricity) - we've had an ongoing privatisation program since Jeff and now there's nothing left apart from Crown land and government buildings.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
We could always sell off the V/Line rail network again - it worked so well the first time!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
For PT perhaps the best way to fund infrastructure is to re-do the fare structure so that the money used to the day-to-day running of the system can be redirected to this new infrastructure. Another thing we can do is to iron out any inefficiencies that might be driving up the capital cost of these projects.

The fare revenue can even be used in conjunction with the tax money if there is excess.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
...and now there's nothing left apart from Crown land and government buildings.
don_dunstan
D'oh, now you've gone and said it, the NSW mob are in the process of selling off all the buildings already.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Actually I said I DON'T want new taxes, it was woodford who proposed it.
Madjikthise
Whoops, I apologise. The error was due to sloppy reading on my part. Sorry.

Okay Don, how about a pact that when one of us comes to power, we both promise to only use funds from government asset sales to either fund new infrastructure OR repay state government debt (thus reducing interest payments and allowing the government to fund more infrastructure). Cool
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

There's nothing more to do this.
Dan said the contract is not worth the paper it's written on which we all know is not true, a contract is a contract.
The Herald Sun does have valid points, Dan is screwed in many ways and the only way he's looking to get out of not paying a cent is to introduce legislation but that would be the most irresponsible and most stupid decision ever made by a government.

The facts are simple even though many here are against the project, i'm not, i'm for it,
Take the consortium to court if Dan's so sure the contract isn't worth anything... All he's doing now is the same rubbish they had with Tatts etc who EVENTUALLY got paid out... The consortium has the government by the balls and they know this and if they go to court the government will lose and be up for even more damages so he's not in a good position.

Agreed with Daves, every person i know in the construction game, reads the Herald Sun lol... And 98% of workers in the blue collar building game (employees) vote Labor and if you've ever been to a unionized site, it's plastered all of the walls that Liberals are the scum of the earth etc.
mickamious
Mickamious' grasp of reality has been proven to be questionable, please read earlier post that was submittted on 03 Mar 2015 23:09.
The simple fact is Labor should introduce legislation to cancel the contract and "side letter", and name it "The Liberal Party Contract Incompetence Reversal Act".
I won't bother repeating what has already been written in previous posts, all of the evidence shows East West link is unjustified.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
D'oh, now you've gone and said it, the NSW mob are in the process of selling off all the buildings already.
TheBlacksmith
Johnny Winston Howard already sold buildings like Treasury and DHS ten years ago - apparently it was an ideologically-driven financial disaster because they 'rent back' the buildings at an enormous premium; they were certainly financial geniuses weren't they. In Victoria there's really bugger all after the Port of Melbourne; Labor previously had a program under Brumby of privatising new State Schools (construction and maintenance; lease back to the state) so perhaps they'll resurrect that. Denis was scouring Victrack for Crown Land to sell off so this will probably also continue under Labor.

The elephant in the room is recent Chinese purchases of VERY large private businesses and land, particularly agricultural concerns such as large cattle stations and multiple dairy farms - this was what Tony Abbott was referring to when he said on election night "We're open for business"... What he really meant was: "Everything is up for sale because otherwise the dollar will tank!" With the collapse of our traditional commodities and the immanent demise of car manufacturing our balance of trade will deteriorate substantially UNLESS they can continue a program of business/land sales to bring in foreign currency.

Once the Chinese Free-Trade Agreement is through later this year they won't even have to submit to the Foreign Investment Review process... expect some really big sales to foreign interests like (perhaps?) Woodside, Santos and Cubby Station.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
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.
tom9876543
The problem with this approach is that it will make businesses unwilling to enter into contracts with a government if there was a precedent that the contract could be unilaterally abrogated merely be way of Act of Parliament.

I am struggling - due to a combination of copious alcohol consumption and excessive fatigue - to find various citations which may make your suggestion impossible under law, I am sure I will find it, but it may take time.

BUT. Surely these companies would be thinking along the lines that their chances of gaining future contracts would be greatly diminished if they were to take the Victorian Gum'mint for all it was worth! Maybe, by settling for a pittance, this will put them in the good books as far as being awarded future contracts?

Who knows.....

Dave
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Fascinating exchange between Abbott and Andrews on the East West link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-11/pm-and-vic-premier-heading-for-a-showdown-over-ewl-contract/6304796

I must say, that although I'm not an ALP voter Dan Andrews has responded well, particularly in the second half of his letter.  Touche.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The Herald-Sun must be livid that the will of the people is very much with Dan and against Tony on this.

The wording in Dan's letter to the PM leaves no doubt whatsoever that the people of Victoria voted to can this expensive East West white elephant.

Now it seems a Bill will be introduced to the Victorian Parliament...unless common sense from the consortium prevails.

Mike.
  tom9876543 Chief Train Controller

The problem with this approach is that it will make businesses unwilling to enter into contracts with a government if there was a precedent that the contract could be unilaterally abrogated merely be way of Act of Parliament.
thadocta

Legislation to cancel a contract is unknown territory. However, my view is the risk of businesses refusing to do future investment is greatly exaggerated.
Businesses in future will probably mitigate the known risk. They would simply demand a signature from the government AND THE OPPOSITION before proceeding with a large contract.
I think that would be an excellent outcome as it ensures only bipartisan projects proceed.

If an opposition party signs an agreement, then cancels it via legislation when they get into power, that would be a very serious issue.

The East West Link is an unusual situation because Labor clearly said they were against it before the election, and the irresponsible (I would say corrupt) Liberals signed the contract fully knowing that Labor didn't want to proceed.
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

I can't quote the above comment cause I'm on my phone but I hope you never become a premier or better get a person who enters parliament. Companies on notice?! Exaggerated?!
Australia is a great country to do business with, canceling contracts is something we just don't so, it affects business confidence especially when you want private investment to fill the gap.
It's already been noted
Dan wants the private sector to
Fill the funding hole to do his Metro tunnel (6 years away before he even starts!) but he's prepared to rip up a contract?
If your a multi-million dollar company, that's ALOT of risk to consider for a billion dollar project of that current government only recently voided another contract don't you think???

Regardless Labors position on taking the position of we won't build it etc, that's incriedly stupid, the contracts are valid, otherwise why hasn't Dan released them to the public like he said he would immediately after entering office?

No compo would be paid, well that's rubbish.
Please also note Dan was also the one who stated back in 2013 that Any signed contract should be upheld..

If this contract is torn, business confidence in this state will go to smeg, watch and see
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Please also note Dan was also the one who stated back in 2013 that Any signed contract should be upheld..
mickamious
But then Tony said the election was a referendum on the tunnel... and they lost?
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

I can't quote the above comment cause I'm on my phone but I hope you never become a premier or better get a person who enters parliament. Companies on notice?! Exaggerated?!
Australia is a great country to do business with, canceling contracts is something we just don't so, it affects business confidence especially when you want private investment to fill the gap.
It's already been noted
Dan wants the private sector to
Fill the funding hole to do his Metro tunnel (6 years away before he even starts!) but he's prepared to rip up a contract?
If your a multi-million dollar company, that's ALOT of risk to consider for a billion dollar project of that current government only recently voided another contract don't you think???

Regardless Labors position on taking the position of we won't build it etc, that's incriedly stupid, the contracts are valid, otherwise why hasn't Dan released them to the public like he said he would immediately after entering office?

No compo would be paid, well that's rubbish.
Please also note Dan was also the one who stated back in 2013 that Any signed contract should be upheld..

If this contract is torn, business confidence in this state will go to smeg, watch and see
mickamious
@Mickamious

You are still not getting the point and you never will because you want the road and you are not reading the facts so eloquently put earlier. That a minister unilaterally signed the contracts knowing full well that the project would be canned if the ALP won the election. Secondly, they had only just started the Design (which they kept on changing) and some preliminary drilling. So if the State is up for a Billion Dollars for a bit of design and drilling we are in a lot of trouble. People have had enough of this Corporate Welfare B..s!!!

Thirdly, the Liberals would not release the contract information, the ALP are not releasing them because the matter is before the courts.

So Mickamious stop being so bloody insulting and take off your Tory blinkers and wait and see what happens.

Michael
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
If this contract is torn, business confidence in this state will go to smeg, watch and see
mickamious

Nonsense Exclamation

There will be a Labor friendly consortium knocking on Dans door to take on signed contracts, years ahead of the next election, but in a similar vein the the Liberal friendly consortium that won the former governments 11th hour contract to build the East-West link.

Just because you are a conservative doesn't mean the rule book having been torn up by the former Napthine government has to be honoured as a millstone around the neck of the Andrews government.

The Andrews government can also hardly release the East-West contracts when it is still discussing compensation, if any with the East-West consortium.

We've all read the letters between Dan and Tony and the publishing of them is unprecedented in Australian political history. The letters absolutely nail each governments colours to the mast.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

@Mickamious

You are still not getting the point and you never will because you want the road and you are not reading the facts so eloquently put earlier. That a minister unilaterally signed the contracts knowing full well that the project would be canned if the ALP won the election. Secondly, they had only just started the Design (which they kept on changing) and some preliminary drilling. So if the State is up for a Billion Dollars for a bit of design and drilling we are in a lot of trouble. People have had enough of this Corporate Welfare B..s!!!

Thirdly, the Liberals would not release the contract information, the ALP are not releasing them because the matter is before the courts.

So Mickamious stop being so bloody insulting and take off your Tory blinkers and wait and see what happens.

Michael
mejhammers1

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............

For what its worth, I agree.

As far as I can see when these contracts were signed it was quite clear the
liberals would lose the election and labor had made it QUITE CLEAR they would
cancel the contract. Is most probable the reason why any company signed was
they new it would result in some amount of money and only a token effort
would be required, ie, money for nothing, what company could ask for more.

The idea it would reduce seriously reduce confidence in Victoria, in my opinion
flies against the facts, ie that almost everyone knew the projct was doomed.

woodford
  Edith Chief Commissioner

Location: Line 1 from Porte de Vincennes bound for Bastille station
Governments can and do cancel contracts. When they do so, the company is then able to pursue court action to get 'reasonable' compensation, based on what 'loss' they have sustained. Since the Consortium had spent virtually nothing on works since the contract was signed, then they should get bugger all, in my opinion. They might be able to claim their notional 'profit' on the deal, but $500M is just an ambit claim.

Even paying $500M is a good deal for Victorians and Australian taxpayers in general.  "Sending good money after bad" is how I would describe building the E-W. A bad investment crowds out better investments, as there is not unlimited money for new infrastructure.

As one of the few who has read the 500 page East-West Comprehensive Impact Statement, I can say that much of it never got discussed in public. It was really about moving freight between the (to be) expanded Port of Hastings and the Port of Melbourne on B-doubles and B-triples.  Car use was how they would sell it to the voters.  As a PPP there was no risk to the builder if traffic levels were below the inflated figures quoted. The builder only had to make a profit by building it for the price they quoted. The risk of not getting enough toll revenue was totally to the government. On the indicative toll prices and inflated traffic numbers, my estimate was they might get 1/4 of the running/amortised costs.  The non-users would have to pick up the other 3/4 through other taxes.

The big superannuation companies make no secret of liking to invest in infrastructure. They want the governments to find more of it. However, they do insist that their investment be risk free. They want the government to pick up the risk of low revenues and they to pay them a big margin over the bond rate for the capital.  Governments could borrow at the bond rate themselves, so why should they pay a higher margin for the super companies to have a risk free return ?  It is the fault of the merchant banks and their stooges in the media.  Government borrowing for any purposes is bad, but it is quite OK for a business to do it. (If we really thought that borrowing, even for a productive asset, was bad we would not have credit cards or mortgages)

It reminds me of the Thatcher days.  The approach then was if a government enterprise is profitable, then it should be privatised to let others make the profits.  If a government enterprise is unprofitable, then the activity should be abandoned. Of course, the first step a newly privatised enterprise takes is to cut costs by reducing service levels (to as low as it is permitted) and cutting preventative maintenance.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

Seriously. Its being suggested that debt should be eliminated so interest can be saved. The savings then to go into infrastructure.

Well that has basically never happened. When governments pay down debt they tend to cut taxes. No state government is going to save enough money in interest payment reductions to pay for the Melbourne Metro.

Just borrow ffs. Borrowing for projects is what governments do. Borrowing for ongoing government costs...that's bad, but not for things that have an economic return.

Modern civilisation basically would not exist without credit. One of the reasons western civilisation outpaced all others was because in the West credit was easy where in many other parts of the world it was restricted or actually banned.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Just borrow ffs. Borrowing for projects is what governments do. Borrowing for ongoing government costs...that's bad, but not for things that have an economic return.
Mr. Lane
Andrews in the news this morning suggesting just that: Melbourne Metro will have to be built with borrowed money.

On the topic of the rest of your post, I think there is an assumption at a Federal level that Sydney and Melbourne have such good infrastructure that there's an unlimited capacity to absorb 2 percent growth every year indefinitely.
  Divine3801 Station Master

Legislation to cancel a contract is unknown territory. However, my view is the risk of businesses refusing to do future investment is greatly exaggerated. Businesses in future will probably mitigate the known risk. They would simply demand a signature from the government AND THE OPPOSITION before proceeding with a large contract. I think that would be an excellent outcome as it ensures only bipartisan projects proceed. If an opposition party signs an agreement, then cancels it via legislation when they get into power, that would be a very serious issue. The East West Link is an unusual situation because Labor clearly said they were against it before the election, and the irresponsible (I would say corrupt) Liberals signed the contract fully knowing that Labor didn't want to proceed.
tom9876543


The unusual nature of the East West Link furthermore is highlighted on this page:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/18b-east-west-link-requires-special-laws-20140804-1008ul.htmlt

It will have at least a paragraph describing the necessity of project specific legislation.

Still remembering the days when Geoff Shaw was in complete control of passing bills maintaining his position at the pivot of the see saw between Labor and Liberal, that's one reason I can think up why it wouldn't be tested in parliament in the way Citylink and Eastlink were legally established.

Searching youtube, the same individual, Professor Michael Crommelin as described in the age article above, has this response on this video in a 7:30 report regarding contractual obligations and legalities, as well as parliamentary abilities.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAIEUe_HhkI

The specific dialogue about the parliament's ability to render the contract invalid and cancel compensation is between 1:30 - 3:17, however I recommend watching the entire video, obtain the broad scope of the issue and other facts involved.


PS, Good post Divine3801. Although whats divine about 3801, For a real loco lets get H220 running, the most power full steam loco in Australia ......... Wink.
woodford

I agree on H220, hopefully it will be able to run again, the only 4-8-4 3 cylinder in the southern hemisphere, why wouldn't a lot of tourists race down to Victoria to see it run again? Maybe if it can run on standard gauge and demonstrate it's stellar performance, I have no doubt the name 'Heavy Harry' will be very famous around the nation.


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............. For what its worth, I agree. As far as I can see when these contracts were signed it was quite clear the liberals would lose the election and labor had made it QUITE CLEAR they would cancel the contract. Is most probable the reason why any company signed was they new it would result in some amount of money and only a token effort would be required, ie, money for nothing, what company could ask for more. The idea it would reduce seriously reduce confidence in Victoria, in my opinion flies against the facts, ie that almost everyone knew the projct was doomed.
woodford

This is an article that echos your point of view:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/east-west-builders-seek-500-million-kill-fee-20140923-10ksto.html

it will describe how the company signed on declaring confidence in acquiring compensation, it also has a conclusion in the passage where a CEO of an infrastructure lobbying group states damage to Victoria's reputation for best infrastructure jurisdiction, but there is the fact that this road didn't get project specific legislation, like Citylink and EastLink

There is this, despite Lend Lease claiming they have the legal advice protecting their rights to compensation, they were handed a letter that Michael O'Brien revealed to us recently where they would be compensated regardless of the ruling of the courts, would that letter have been necessary at all if the company's legal rights to compensation is firm?

Two agendas on two sides here, the company sees that labor is officially declaring contracts will be cancelled. The company with their expenses already spent in geotechnical surveys and tasks of setting up the information for engineering to prepare for construction will want to recover the costs, but they go even further and want a free handout.
Therefore they demand from the government penalties payable to them to recuperate the funds spent and committed already to the project, and significant more for providing them profits intended to come from the project.
Napthine, cannot force them to sign without it gives in in desperation to demonstrate strength politically, and blackmail us into declaring 'Andrews intends to recklessly spend $1billion for nothing' when it will be $18 billion for a devastating set back as this will be needed to pay if off as a result of $6billion not making profitable return. They practically beg them to sign up, a vast amount of the money that is contributed from taxpayers, desperation evident in that 'side letter'

They in effect become dirty salesmen of Lend Lease parroting about their $1billion compensation clauses for the company to stay on the contract.

Along with this woodford, I read your response to statements about reducing business confidences and knowing the project was doomed, this is a decision made by one of the bidders, Leighton, to cease bidding, both articles should be similar:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/east-west-tunnel-link-project-too-risky-for-leighton-20140728-3cq4f.html

http://www.afr.com/p/business/companies/melbourne_east_west_link_tunnel_WWjPz8jxldaHmifXCJKZlJ

This was a while back in July 2014. I am sure all bidders had access to the business case, and now today we do, no wonder why they pulled out, it was so hazy they must have very shortly established the elevated high risk and also, it was way before Labor would state official opposition to the contract 2 months from the election. Today, they can witness comfortably the consequences of going into high risk contractual agreements. If it was the Melbourne Metro Tunnel I think it would be a different story, and would still be today when they get offered regardless of the nonsense of East West Link.

4 months on after the election, there is persistent attempts from the 'person' of the office of the prime minister to intimidate and coerce the premier to restart this dud toll road, a dud toll road that even the business case for it itself, shatters it's legitimacy as the solution of our transport issues.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-12/east-west-link-words-between-daniel-andrews-and-tony-abbott/6307212

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/abbott-claims-victorias-east-west-link-reversal-will-hurt-australias-reputation-as-a-safe-place-to-invest-20150312-141hzj.html

As would the articles note, the federal auditor is investigating the decision for the federal funds being contributed where a rigorous analysis was lacking. Cost benefit ratio returning 45 cents for every dollar spent on it, business case making a damning summary of the project itself, the auditor general along with the team that would be led under him/her should have a thorough look into these documents.

The premier is demonstrating his strength in his will to stay in this direction, unfortunately there are still efforts rife to attack and stab him on this decision, but the business case will help him and all those who declare and see the colossal trouble it would have caused Victoria for the past 2014.

I mentioned before I am skeptical of the premier, I am having some hope he will do his best and in our interests, but we must be vigilant, what he has for us ahead in this term apart from what he has announced we don't know just yet, and the pending promises if they will come through.
In my opinion, for now we can hope for the best of him, he is taking some of the steps we need in the right direction.
I am not calling him the hero of Victoria, nor should I think we should be totally submissive to his government when it comes to decisions on where they take our state forward, respect the office you are voted in to administer, and the sensible, respectful people will respect and honour you, it is a gift the people gave you to lead the electorates and ultimately the state and the nation together for society's benefit.

Even with the East West Link ceased, you can't leave it there with just a program of removing 50 level crossings, that Eastern Freeway has trucks and vehicles going west trapped amongst a sea of cars wanting to get to the CBD, they need that train line to Doncaster urgently, furthermore it needs to start operating with the Metro Rail Tunnel down Swanston street, a project even Napthine's transport planners said before stands well above the East West Link in returning benefits, getting us $1.90 for every dollar going into it.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-19/melbourne-rail-a-better-deal-than-east-west-toll-planners-say/5902268

This East West Link for 2014 needs to be shut down, the environmental and social impacts would be heavy and most of all did not have a financial benefit, if we need it in the future, then the business case, various legal, financial and relevant experts should prove to us that it is needed. It should never have come this far to the point where councils had to launch lawsuits.

But be wary, if Labor fails in it's commitments to us and falls disastrously short of the standards the Victorian people expect, you can expect the likes of Matthew Guy and Michael O'Brien to take advantage of this and attempt to slither their way back into power. One goes to court as the defendant declaring the business case was never read or considered, the other releases the 'side letter' it's sentences outlining promised compensation regardless of court orders.

They have not demonstrated any remorse for their actions, business confidence being affected by the state's decision to cancel the contract?

The 'people' in the company that demanded a profit for preliminary works and ultimately no project construction should suffer their own loss of reputation from the public, who are these people in this company that want to take our taxpayers money in this manner? they equally deserve their own consequences for their greed, just as much as the Napthine and now Guy and O'Brien continued to embark on their abomination.

I am sure Leighton will be happy to be approached for business discussions and participate in bidding for the Metro rail tunnel, any other construction projects, competing with any other construction giants. Metro rail tunnel, the best ranking from Infrastructure Australia as most important, business case demonstrates a strong return of profits. You can make profits responsibly and respect the ones you trade with.

Prove to them you have a business case that demonstrates it a reasonable solution, that the finished product will be in demand once it's finished and ensures they will have the confidence. Confidence that proves that their contractual agreement and the progressive stages of reaching completion is secure for them. At the same time you must have in the contract your demands and your expectations to which they will agree to be accountable to, all of which is outlined in relation of ensuring that the interests of the taxpayers benefit, as it is the problem you discuss and contract them to solve for and with you and in the end provide a solution that the taxpayers are asking for.

There was no doubt Lend Lease with the former government were fully aware of it's illegitimacy to Victoria. They were warned, the business case was the document that instead of being able to promote it, in fact proved it unviable, unsuitable, destructive and ultimately signalled it as reckless to allow it to continue.

The lust and greed for money shows true from the 'people' in Lend Lease. They would never have proceeded into contracts if they weren't led to believe they were opened access to claw a large amount of taxpayers money when the cancellation came through, intent on having a large amount spilled into their own accounts regardless of which direction. That which also fully reflects on Napthine's abhorrent behaviour in robbing our state and gifting it to a company and along with Abbott attempts of blackmailing shoving this rhetoric at us "Andrews paying $1billion for nothing" which today they still ignorantly and negligently spit on us in opposition. You didn't read the business case, you wrote side letter guaranteeing compensation irrespective to the ruling of the courts, you held our business case away from us, do not lecture the current government or anybody at all about sovereign risk and business confidence.
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

Soooooooooo
Mr Dan The man.
Contract not valid or worth the paper it's written on so why are you drafting up legislation??? I thought it wasn't void mate?

Where the contract details you promise day 1 to release??? You still haven't done so, you had 4 weeks to release it before negotiations even began... This state has become a laughing stock over the last 6 months. Whether you agree or not with the project, this fool has made a mockery of you all.

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