Media Release

05 February 2015

O’Brien: Release of Legal Advice and Letter of Guarantee

Thursday 5 February 2015

 

RELEASE OF LEGAL ADVICE AND LETTER OF GUARANTEE

Today we are releasing the legal advice to the Government on the validity of the East West Link contract, as well as the letter of guarantee provided to the East West Connect.

This advice, provided by Australia’s leading commercial law silk, Allan Myers QC, demonstrates that the Victorian Government had full authority to enter into the EWL contract.

The advice also demonstrates that the reckless promise made by Daniel Andrews, days before the election, that “the contract is not worth the paper it is written on” is entirely baseless and wrong.

The effect of the letter is to guarantee that the provisions of the contract relating to its termination will be honoured by the Government.  This letter simply provides an assurance that the Government will honour the termination provisions of the contract and provides no additional benefit whatsoever to East West Connect.

Further, the attached legal advice confirms that given the authority of the government to enter into the contract, the State will not be called upon to meet the obligations in the letter of guarantee.

East West Connect sought the letter following reckless claims made by Daniel Andrews as to the authority of the Government to enter into the contract.

The legal advice confirms that, as the Government had full authority to do so, there was no additional exposure to providing this letter of guarantee.

Daniel Andrews’ attempts to try to characterise this letter as somehow inappropriate are exposed as dishonest and wrong.

Daniel Andrews’ claims were dishonest before the election and Daniel Andrews’ claims continue to be dishonest since the election.

What this shows is that the letter of guarantee was only necessary because of Daniel Andrews’ reckless and false claims that “the contract wasn’t worth the paper it was written on” but in providing the letter the Coalition Government was not providing any benefit to East West Connect beyond the strict terms of the contract.