East West Link business case finally made public

Here’s the complete list of East West Link files, just in time for lazy summer days reading stuff on the beach. (or not)

Premier of Victoria The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP: East West Link Files (Monday 15 December 2014)

Earlier version of the East West Link business case leaked by the Herald Sun (please note, pdf is 16M)

That pdf is also hosted on YCAT  just in case the HS link breaks or falls over. From my quick speed read, it appears even more convoluted than the CIS, if that was possible.

Commentary and analysis so far:

The Age: Analysis: Why the East West Link proved such a hard sell. Josh Gordon (15 December 2014)

The former government clearly went to extraordinary lengths to make the East West Link appear as though it stacked up. Using the most basic methodology preferred by Infrastructure Australia, the project was assessed as having a benefit-cost ratio of just 0.45 in March 2013. In other words, it was a dog: according to the government’s own numbers, the project involved a loss-making return of just 45 cents for every $1 spent.

The Age: East West Link business case revealed: 56 years to pay off. Adam Carey, Henrietta Cook, Josh Gordon  (15 December 2014)

Toll revenue from the cancelled East West Link project would have been so minimal compared to the huge construction costs that it would have taken 56 years to pay for it, the business case reveals. Traffic modelling for the six-kilometre link also predicts that the tunnel would have been used by a fraction of inbound traffic on the Eastern Freeway in the morning peak, with just 13 per cent of vehicles bound for Melbourne Airport or the western suburbs.

Daniel Bowen: My notes from a quick skim of the #EWLink business case (15 December 2014)

Late last night, the Herald Sun unexpectedly published the entire East West Link business case, ahead of its official release today. Some notes from me from a quick flick through:
p12 makes various high-level claims, particularly faster trips for motorists — but as we know, this benefit never lasts because traffic increases.

Guardian: East West Link’s $2.1bn black hole was to be filled by tolls, business case reveals. Melissa Davey (15 December 2014)

Steep increases to existing tolls and the implementation of new ones were a fundamental part of the East West Link road’s business case as the former Victorian government tried to fill a $2.1bn funding black hole. All the incarnations of the business case for the controversial $6.8bn toll road were released to the media on Monday morning after being kept under wraps by the former premier, Denis Napthine. The new premier, Labor’s Daniel Andrews, promised to rip up the contract and release the full business case as part of his election policy platform. The most recent version of the business case, from June last year, was leaked to News Limited before the lock-up on Monday morning, though the Labor government insisted it was not leaked by them.

Herald Sun: Secret papers reveal details of $6.8 billion East West Link. Michelle Ainsworth, James Campbell (15 December 2014)

Three major infrastructure projects were added to the East West Link stage one project at the last minute to boost the case for the road, secret documents reveal. The Andrews Government today released about 9000 pages of documents detailing the potential costs and benefits of the $6.8 billion link between the Eastern Freeway and CityLink. The documents include two business cases, one published in March 2013 and presented to the Napthine cabinet in April and an updated case from June 2013, which was exclusively obtained by the Herald Sun yesterday. The cost-benefit analysis in the initial case estimates the link would produce a return of 45c for every dollar spent, the “cabinet in confidence’’ papers reveal

Herald Sun: Exclusive: $6 billion East West secrets exposed, read the full documents. Michelle Ainsworth, James Campbell (15 December 2014)

It would take 56 years to repay the cost of building the East West Link, the business case has revealed. The business case obtained by the Herald Sun compared the cost of the East West Link to the equivalent cost of building Citylink and East Link in 2011 dollars. It showed East West Link would be much more expensive to build for the toll revenue it would raise, compared with CityLink and East Link. If the road earned $112 million in annual toll revenue it would take 56 years to cover a $6.3 billion construction cost.

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