Court appeal likely over Melb road project

Seven News: Court appeal likely over Melb road project, September 10, 2014,

AAPThe legal challenge to stop Melbourne’s eight billion dollar East West Link looks set to continue.
The legal challenge to stop Melbourne’s $8 billion East West Link looks set to continue despite a Supreme Court judge dismissing a claim to halt proceedings.

Resident Anthony Murphy took action to stop the project, which he alleged was based on deceptive and misleading figures, but his bid for an injunction was refused in the Victorian Supreme Court.

“We’re going to go away and read the judge’s reasons, but we’ll almost certainly be lodging an appeal,” Mr Murphy told reporters outside court on Wednesday.

“It’s part of the process. It’s a setback, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re still confident that we have a case otherwise we wouldn’t have brought the case in the first place.”

Justice Clyde Croft refused an injunction and dismissed the action after he found the conduct alleged to have been false and misleading did not involve the running of a business and was not a part of trade or commerce.

Mr Murphy had alleged the project’s benefit cost ratio, the net economic benefit, and the projected traffic volumes were not based on standard methodology for major projects.

The Victorian government has already named the East West Connect consortium as its preferred bidder to build the project’s first stage, with contracts expected to be signed before the November 29 state election.

But in handing down his reasons, Justice Croft said the court had received a letter from the state which said nothing would proceed before September 16.

Justice Croft said it gave Mr Murphy time to launch an appeal if he chose.

Mr Murphy said if any appeal was lodged, he would ask for the September 16 deadline to be delayed.

Lawyers for the state government did not comment as they left court.

Premier Denis Napthine said he was confident the major road project, opposed by Labor and balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw, would go ahead.

“I’m absolutely confident we will sign contracts for East West Link and the project will go ahead because the project’s in the best interest of Melburnians and Victoria,” Dr Napthine told reporters

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