Finally … The End Of The Road

Murphy v East West TollFrom Residents Against The Tunnel (RATs): Finally … The End Of The Road For Murphy v State Government Of Victoria

 It has been a long time, but this Supreme Court Challenge, which began in April 2014, is finally over. The Supreme Court accepted the discontinuation of the case agreed to by both parties on Friday 17 July 2015.

This courageous case was enormously important in the community battle against the deeply flawed East West Link project.

On behalf of Residents Against the Tunnel, and presuming to speak on behalf of all community groups involved, our deepest gratitude goes to Anthony Murphy and his extraordinary, talented and community-minded legal team: Ron Merkel QC, Melinda Richards SC, Julian Burnside AO QC, Simona Gory Barrister, Meghan Fitzgerald, Hollie Golding and all the staff at Fitzroy Legal Services, Paula Shelton and others from Shine Lawyers, and the many other experts, volunteers and community members who helped behind the scenes.

It is a rare and brave thing for a person to take a State Government to court. It is even rarer to win. While the case may not have won in a court of law, it won in the court of public opinion and achieved what it set out to do – expose the flawed business case. Through this case Victorians were made aware of, and became concerned about, the lack of government transparency in spending huge amounts of state funds. This brought the East West Link front of mind in the run up to the election, and played a vital part in the outcome. Continue Reading…

East West Link sparks Federal-State stoush while locals’ lives turned upside down

From ABC News​ Victoria & ABC 7.30​ (12 March 2015)
First up on ABC News Victoria: Tony Abbott believes East West Link is still a thing, then ABC 730 segment featuring Mary Fenelon on home acquisition issues & more on Daniel Andrews vs. Tony Abbott.

ABC 730: East West Link sparks Federal-State stoush while locals’ lives turned upside down

As the Victorian government tried to get out of the East West Link deal and avoid paying compensation for it, the Prime Minister is urging them not to and local residents are dealing with the ways their lives have already been irrevocably changed.

From Letters to The Age: Trapped in quagmire (12 March 2015)

On October 16 last year (147 days ago), 102 properties were compulsorily acquired by Linking Melbourne Authority for the East West Link. Since then, about 86 properties have been voluntarily acquired. Most owners remain in limbo, unable to move on with their lives as they wait for acquisitions to be reversed or finalised.

It has been 103 days since Labor won power in Victoria. This would seem a reasonable amount of time for the appropriate authority to unravel this complex mess that the Coalition forced on property owners. Anxious residents demand clarification and direction. Surely it is not too much to ask that the Victorian government communicate and assure us of its plans and timetable to resolve this mess.

Keith Fitzgerald, Collingwood

East West Link “Letter of Guarantee” demands investigation

YCAT Editorial

Here is a copy of the East West Link “side letter” to the consortium, signed by the Napthine Government that blackmails Victorian taxpayers.

The timing of this document being signed before November 2014 State Election surely demands further investigation via either a Royal Commission, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), if it had beefed up powers or a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Surely former Treasurer Michael O’Brien would be aware of the principles of accountability and good governance put forward by The Honourable Tony Fitzgerald AC QC:

  • Govern for the peace, welfare and good government of the State;
  • Make all decisions and take all actions, including public appointments, in the public interest without regard to personal, party political or other immaterial considerations;’
  • Treat all people equally without permitting any person or corporation special access or influence; and
  • Promptly and accurately inform the public of its reasons for all significant or potentially controversial decisions and actions.

The former treasurer treated people with contempt when putting the political interests of the former State LNP government ahead of the public interest.

It appears that the former treasurer was prepared to give away $1.2 billion of Victorian’s funds to a foreign consortium just to hide the incompetence of a project that was always of the rails.

At the time of signing, he knew that the Andrews Government had committed to walk away from the project, and he knew the polls predicted an ALP win. So the deal was done purely to stop the consortium walking away before the election instead of after.

A cowardly deal.

East West Link Letter of Guarantee and Allan Myers QC Legal Advice by Yarra Campaign for Action on Transport (YCAT)

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