Tuesday 24 March 2015
Treasury exposes Andrews’ dodgy claim on East West Link contract
Victoria’s Department of Treasury and Finance has exposed Daniel Andrews’ dodgy claims over the East West Link contract.
Announcing his East West backflip on 11 September 2014, Daniel Andrews claimed that the Victorian Government had no legal authority to enter into the contract to build the East West Link.
However, Treasury advice to the former government not only rejected this claim, but noted that Labor’s arguments – if accepted – would have severe consequences for other Victorian public-private partnerships (PPPs).
In a Ministerial briefing dated 26 September 2014 Treasury advised:
The majority of Victorian PPPs have been entered into by the State using its executive power and this is likely to be the preferred route for future PPPs. Any adverse decision as to the State’s ability to rely on executive power to enter into major PPPs or privatisation contracts could have policy implications for both existing and future PPP contracts.
The advice further noted:
It could also bring into question whether existing Victorian PPP contracts, including for the Victorian Desalination Plant, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Peninsula Link were also invalid (as well as for PPPs in other Australian jurisdictions).
Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien:
“Independent Treasury advice shows that Daniel Andrews’ claims over the validity of the East West Link contract cannot be believed.
“If Daniel Andrews’ dodgy claims over the East West Link are right, the contracts for the desal plant, Peninsula Link and the new Cancer Centre are invalid also.
“The Premier cannot have it both ways. Either his costly promise to rip up the East West Link contract is built on a lie, or he accepts that every Victorian PPP project is at risk.”