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Interesting little development which is being strangely spun as something that Labor did wrong

“OUTRAGED Victorians have vented their anger at the State Government potentially having to write a massive cheque to Queenslanders over the axed East West Link.

The Herald Sun can reveal the Queensland Investment Corporation — a company owned by the Sunshine state’s Labor Government — was a 30 per cent backer of the now-axed project and is demanding a substantial slice of the looming $1.2 billion compensation payout.”

Read more of this Herald-Sun article, if you must.

 

Ok, for those of you who aren’t up with what’s happening in Victoria, days before entering caretaker mode, the previous Liberal Government signed the contract to build the East-West link, in spite of Labor committing to not building it if there were elected. The signing of the contract for this $3 billion project was one thing.

The other more interesting thing that doesn’t seem to attracting as much criticism as I would have expected, is that the previous government also signed an agreement to pay the consortium compensation for lost profits if the project didn’t go ahead. This compensation is alleged to be over a billion dollars. Now, apart from the fact that a billion dollars does seem like a lot of profit to make on a $3 billion project, it does seem rather bloody-minded to sign away so much compensation when Labor have announced their intention not to build it. Imagine if Labor signed a contract for anything that offered that amount of compensation to any consortium they were dealing with in the dying days of a government…

But my interest here isn’t to defend the Labor Party or to argue about the pros and cons of building the East-West Link. I’m fascinated about the latest spin from the Murdoch Muckrakers.

Just think about the quote I shared for one second: “…a company owned by the Sunshine state’s Labor Government”.

It’s interesting that they point this out. As though somehow it’s the Queensland Labor Party sucking the money out of poor Victoria.

But it completely ignores the realitiy of the timing of the signing of the contract. While the Liberals may have been clinging to the hope that they’d be re-elected and build the road, they must have been aware that the odds were against them, so signing over a billion dollars like that would either make the incoming government look bad by being forced to break a promise and build the road, or else they’d look bad paying a ridiculously high compensation to the consortium. And who was a large chunk of this money going to? Well, if you read the Herald-Sun today, you’d know it’s potentially going to the Queensland Labor Government.

Except last year, when the contract was signed, I don’t think anybody realistically expected there to be a Queensland Labor Government. While the expectation was that the LNP would lose a number of seats, their margin was just too large for anyone to seriously contemplate that they’d lose government. In other words, the money was potentially going from the Victorian Labor Government to the Queensland LNP. If the Liberals were re-elected, no problem, but if Labor came in, they had the choice to either break an election promise, or to pay a large sum into Campbell Newman’s coffers.

Of course, there’s no way that the Liberals would have thought like this, is there? There’s no way that they’d think it would be better to hand the money over to another Liberal Government rather than letting Labor get their hands on it. Surely, they wouldn’t think like that. Surely, we’re all on the same team down here in Victoria…

Whatever, the joke’s on them.

And Victoria.

But it does intrigue me that somehow Dan Andrews is supposedly at fault by prioritising public transport and deciding to make his intentions known before the election, while there seems very little public criticism of the previous Liberal Government being so cavalier with the state’s money.

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21 comments

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  1. Kerri

    Thanks for exposing that Rossleigh! Now how to get it into the mSM?

  2. Lyle Upson.

    if the road doesn’t go ahead, the profit will be zero because there is no investment. So the compensation for lost profit should be zero, given the investment is zero

  3. Sir ScotchMistery

    LOL at getting it on MSM. Far too many big words for the likes of Andrew Bolt and far too many bog words for the likes of Alan Jones.

  4. John Fraser

    <

    Here in Queensland I am awaiting my cheque from youse Victorians.

    I expect it to arrive at the same time as the pig Abbott's $550 because that's why he slaughtered the carbon tax.

    I trust this comment is in keeping with the pig Abbott's way of talking.

    I trust this comment is in keeping with the pig Abbott's way of talking

  5. David K

    Good article, the final paragraph says it all, really. It could almost be classed as blackmail.

  6. Margaret McMillan

    I haven’t seen this particular element of this dodgy deal in the MSM, but I did read in the Age the other day that the ‘clause’ that says compensation must be paid was contained in a separate, add on letter signed immediately before the Libs went into caretaker mode. I suspect that the Age would be extremely interested in this story here. Though I don’t read it every day, it seems to me that they’re already going pretty hard with the story.

  7. juliefarthing

    Well the Queensland Labour Party could wrote a cheque back to theVictorian Labor Party and its all even Steven – isn’t it?

  8. Wally

    If this happened in private industry people would be held accountable for defrauding or misappropriating company funds. Considering all of the crap the LNP have dumped on Unions and the Labor party this situation calls for a far reaching Royal Commission into the LNP and their business associates. Give the slimy capitalists some of their own medicine.

  9. Richard Leggatt

    Absobloodylutely!!!! I’m a Labor voter, but I’m also one of the few (it seems) that wanted the road to go ahead. I’ve been driving that rat run for over 30 years! So I was happy to see at least the Eastern freeway link to the Tulla. But for those bastards to sign an agreement, that close to an election, in the full knowledge that Labor opposed it, AND sign into contract, a poison pill of that magnitude defies belief! People are blaming the wrong crowd if they think this is Labors problem!

  10. Terry2

    How on earth could the former Queensland LNP government invest in this project without, as I understand it, a cost benefit analysis.

    It was quite clear that this contract was politically charged and I’m smelling a – as the Prime Minister puts it – a stitch-up. When the investment was made and the contract signed it was all Liberal governments. Things have changed in Victoria and Queensland !

  11. DanDark

    Naptime knew his days were numbered so just to be assholes they tried to set Labor up for a fall
    after the election,
    Victorians didn’t want another friggin tunnel that we pay for the pleasure of driving on
    Nitwit Naptime would of been re elected if we had of, because that was their only campaign thread basically
    The corrupt Vet threatened and bullied the voters that if we didn’t vote for his tunnel we would pay the compensation and suffer for him losing the election, the crap that come out of the Vets mouth was truly gob smacking,
    desperate people will say desperate things and Naptime did,

    I thought his trip to Leongatha secondary college when on the campaign trail was also strikingly slimy,
    The headmaster at that school is Nats Darren Chesters brother,
    they were the only school in this region that were promised money if they were voted back in
    ,
    I rang Naptimes office on numerous occasions to remind them they are going to lose,
    because they were so cocky and confident, didn’t even consider they would lose the bloody ostriches,
    Kelly ODwyer was another one out and about declaring to anyone or anything who would listen that the Libs were going to win, she is a no good grub that has no probs in lying,
    she wouldn’t know the truth if it came up and bit her on the arse

    The egg that was all over their faces after the election was there for all to see,,,
    it was delicious to watch the decimation of The corrupt vet and his side kick Rotten Ryan….
    I am glad Victorians “were distracted by the footy” and then we were so “absent minded” we kicked Naptime to the curb where he deserves to be with his washed up tunnel project 🙂

  12. Ricardo29

    I’m pleased to see this story picked up. I was shocked at the lack of comment when our dingbat PM mentioned this last week in one of his dafter statements. I called it a land mine left by the previous Lib. Govt. And didn’t know about the Qld link. We can see what things are going to be like for the Labor govt’s from the Murdoch rags, the Hun and the Scurrilous Mail, over the next three years.

  13. galacticpresident

    To sign a contract in this way is unconscionable conduct … the contract is thus not valid.

  14. lawrencewinder

    Perhaps 35,000 Victorians who cannot afford the privatised Gas and Electricity could send their bills to Jeff “Bully-Boy” Kennett ?
    That would be just as fair.

  15. totaram

    I find it disgusting that this Jeff Kennett still appears in the public eye from time to time and tells everyone what they ought to be doing.
    Why would anyone listen to anything he has to say? His argument that privatising electricity and gas would give everyone lower prices has been completely discredited, but no one asks him anything about it! That would shut him up nicely.

  16. DanDark

    Jeff Kennet is a nobody still pretending to be a somebody, he slammed Victoria into depression
    And now he runs beyond blue, what a joke that is
    He needs to take a long walk off a short plank, he put a wrecking ball through Victoria
    And left us with Jeffs Shed lucky us…….Not……

  17. Blanik

    Does anybody listen to Kennett, let alone take notice of the fool. Schools that he sold via his estate agent mate and former premier Bailluoe (sp, but who cares) now means that the new demographic living in inner suburbs now have to bus their children to school. The man is as mad as Abbott.

  18. Rossleigh

    Mm, Kennett was described by the Murdoch Media as being “politically astute”, but his record as Leader stands as follows. Three election losses, one win when Labor was so on the nose in Victoria that the Opposition Leader could have run on a platform of “Look, I know that I’m a drunk who beats his wife, but I’ll give that up after the election if you vote for me” and still been a chance of winning, and a win where he lost seat after the landslide of the one I just mentioned.
    Even in his final loss, he had the capacity to have stayed as Premier, but his negotiating skills meant that the Independents sided with Labor.

    Kennett had very little that was worth listening to when he had some power; it strikes me that he has even less now.

  19. Phi

    Ahhhhh – the old ‘lost profit’ gambit !!! The last bastion of leaches sucking the very life force out of our national accounts – bloody vampire bastards. This Liberal party Vic road debacle sounds just like the stealthily inserted blood sucking “lost future profit” clauses demanded by the corporates in the secretive TPP that Abbott lusts after.

  20. philasophigas

    Awesome article rossleigh. Thank you.

  21. Annie B

    The former Premier of Vic – Nappietime, I was never overjoyed with, but thought he’d done a reasonable job in his tenure.

    That is, until he pulled that ultra nasty stunt of signing the East West Link contract with so little time left before the election. I was gobsmacked, but shouldn’t have been – he is after all – a politician. LNP to boot, so it shouldn’t have surprised me so much. ….

    After that sneaky, shifty, manipulative move he went to the bottom of both papers for me – upper and lower house….. We all know WHY he did it. …. It was blackmail – of the Victorian people. ” Vote for me, and you won’t have to pay $billions for something you will never have “.

    I would NOT have voted for him anyway, having always followed the ( now ) Deputy Premier James Merlino … who does a superb job in our electorate.

    ……….

    As for Kennett … he really needs to find a nice retirement somewhere – Iceland might have him ? Cos I don’t think too many Vics want him around, especially bibbing his nose into politics.

    If anyone wants to listen to a former Liberal, try Malcolm Fraser. …. Recently he has given Abbott the biggest verbal punches I have ever heard from a former anything / anyone. … the latest was to call him a ‘very dangerous man’. hmm … I wonder how THAT goes down with the Scabbott ? … He must be smarting badly from the blows.

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