East West Link – On ne passe pas – No pasarán!

Update – 15 August 2015: A swift resolution to yesterdays palavar

Press Release from the Embassy of Spain on the Satisfactory resolution of the East West Link Project

The Embassy of Spain is very pleased to acknowledge the resolution of the Melbourne East West Link project announced today by Premier Daniel Andrews between the Government of Victoria and the East West Connect consortium.

This agreement, reached in good faith and to all parties’ satisfaction, will enable the Government of Victoria to strengthen the framework for infrastructure investment and to focus on future relevant initiatives. The consortium members will also be in a position to freely pursue future projects in the State of Victoria.

The Embassy of Spain avails itself of this opportunity to renew its commitment to further enhance the excellent relation with the present Government of Victoria.

Statement by His Excellency Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France to Australia on the agreement relative to the East West Link project – 15 April 2015

I’m not in a position to comment on the decisions taken by the Victorian government about the project itself.
As far as the agreement announced this morning is concerned, let me just say that I believe the Victorian government has acted in a responsible way. To my mind, the outcome is good news for Victoria, good for Australian and for the business relationship between France and Australia.

Since beginning my tenure in Australia one of my main concerns has been to promote and facilitate French investment in Australia. Obviously I haven’t been part of negotiations between the Victorian government and the Consortium. The outcome this morning is the result of responsible and fair negotiations between the concerned parties.


acciona poster IT
And in todays latest tanty – Spanish & French members of the East West Link Consortium need to be reminded of what the locals told them back in November 2014.

On ne passe pas – No pasarán! Melbourne no aceptará la autopista East West Link (6 November 2014)

La compañía española Acciona es parte del consorcio seleccionado para construir la primera fase de una carretera de peaje de 18 kilometros de largo que atravesara la cuidad de Melbourne en Australia.  El proyecto se llama el East West Link.

La carretera atravesaría una de las zonas más antiguas y densamente pobladas de la ciudad. Unas docenas de casas y negocios serán derribados y unos cientos de casas y negocios serán adquirido obligatoriamente. Imagínense que esto mismo pasara en los barrios de Madrid, o en las areas céntricas de Barcelona! More in link.

Tim Pallas, Victorian Treasurer, said today “I expect this to be resolved by the budget [on 5 May],”, so all this posturing is most likely about leveraging a compensation payout.

Have a spare moment? Why not contact the French & Spanish embassies and object to their intrusion into Victorian politics:

  • Christophe Lecourtier, the Ambassador of France to Australia: email: information.canberra-amba@diplomatie.gouv.fr
  • Embassy of France contact details
  • Enrique Viguera, Spanish Ambassador email: emb.canberra@maec.es
  • Embassy of Spain contact details

Guardian Australia: East West Link: complaints from Spain and France won’t change Victoria’s mind. Tuesday 14 April 2015

State treasurer says Labor is determined to keep its election promise to dump the road and negotiations to axe the contract should be resolved by 5 May

Complaints from the Spanish and French governments will not change Victoria’s attitude to compensation for dumping the East West Link road tunnel, the state treasurer has said.

“They might not like the way that we’re proceeding about it, but I make no apology for protecting the interests of the Victorian taxpayer,” the treasurer, Tim Pallas.

The Spanish company Acciona and the French company Bouygues were part of a consortium that won the right to build the $6.8bn project.

The European governments had lodged a joint protest with the Labor government about the treatment of the tenderers, the Australian reported on Tuesday.

Pallas said the state government would not ignore international concerns.

“Obviously when matters of diplomatic moment are raised they have to be taken seriously,” he said. More in link