Posted April 17, 2015 06:55:38
The new Victorian Government will pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to stop the East-West articulation actuality built, but neither above affair comes out of this attractive good, writes Barrie Cassidy.
The Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, says it’s “no account for celebration” to pay out $339 actor to stop a alley actuality built. He got that right.
Neither ancillary of backroom has annihilation to bless – admitting they both assume to anticipate they accept lots to exploit. The actuality is the accomplished apologetic East-West articulation adventure reflects ailing on both above political parties and the way that public-private partnerships are stitched up.
The Andrews Government will get stick for walking abroad from a acknowledged obligation put calm in acceptable acceptance by a antecedent government. The political accomplishments – the blackmail to Labor of accident aing burghal seats to the Greens – exposes the Government alike more.
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is so assertive the affair will comedy able-bodied for the Coalition that he flew to Melbourne on Thursday about for a doorstop account in the suburbs alike admitting an important premiers appointment beckoned in Canberra today.
He afresh ridiculed the accompaniment Government for spending hundreds of millions of dollars artlessly to block the project, and said the $3 billion of federal money would abide in “a bound box” until the Government saw faculty and re-ignited the project.
The accommodation to carelessness the project, he said, was “absolutely crazy”, admitting accustomed the Government has accomplished a accord with industry on compensation, it seems absurd to abide to harbour a appearance that the activity can be resurrected.
As bad as it looks for the Andrews Government however, the antecedent Napthine government too has a lot to acknowledgment for.
The basal band is that the arrangement should never accept been active so aing to an election, abnormally back it was bright to everybody that Labor’s action to the activity was axial to its campaign, and that they stood a able adventitious of winning.
The bunch of architecture companies – both actuality and across – went into the accord with their eyes advanced open. They knew the East-West articulation was a polarising issue, and that the above parties had close and adverse positions.
The rushed signing was abnormally adventuresome because the activity was based, if not on dodgy economics, again absolutely on bleared assumptions. There was no acknowledgment of the amount account ysis.
Worse still, the antecedent government, in the ability that Labor would atom the project, added a ancillary letter to the negotiations that they acquainted would agreement ample advantage payments.
It was a cher stick to authority over a political adversary in an acclamation campaign.
Nothing would accept been absent by cat-and-mouse aloof three weeks to accord the voters a say. The alacrity was authentic politics.
Still, about amid $339 actor and $640 actor has gone bottomward the drain, depending on what bi-weekly you read; admitting carefully speaking the money hasn’t gone bottomward the drain; it’s gone – a ample allotment of it – to what John Durie in The Australian describes as “the gladhanders who put the accord calm and (were) promised funds alike admitting none of them would accept aloft a diaphoresis on the accord for years”.
They are the bodies who artlessly fabricated all the arrange and they angle to abridged $160 million.
According to Durie, “it is the agnate of advantageous your artist afore you alike get a architect to attending at your renovations.”
The appulse on the state’s acceptability – the advancement that Victoria has apparent itself to “sovereign risk” – has been abstract as well.
The added abstaining assay was offered up by the Australian Industry Group. It’s Victorian director, Tim Piper, said that admitting the accumulation was against to the arrangement actuality rescinded, the accommodation about “ensures a crisis of aplomb in government affairs has been averted”.
He said the abandoning “had the abeyant to casting a cloak over the Victorian economy”, but “both the Government and industry are now able to move advanced with certainty”.
That’s the history. Now it’s the assignment of the Andrews Government to get arise and appear up with shovel-ready projects that will alleviate Abbott’s $3 billion.
A $10 billion abuse adit below the burghal is an agitative activity and a acute acknowledgment to the East-West alley link. But the starting date is three years away. They will charge to appear up with article abroad that creates jobs in the beneath term. Otherwise Victorians will pay an alike college amount than this week’s account suggest.
Barrie Cassidy is the presenter of the ABC affairs Insiders. He writes a account cavalcade for The Drum.
Topics: government-and-politics, road-transport, business-economics-and-finance, transport
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