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Transurban 2 - West Gate Tunnel (General)

by dulan drift, Thursday, October 29, 2020, 20:42 (130 days ago) @ dulan drift

The other thing about Transurban is that it’s proactive. It doesn’t sit back waiting for governments to come up with projects it can bid on; it pitches fancy big-bucks ‘shovel-ready’ tollways at them that they didn’t even know they needed.

The West Gate tunnel was a classic example. Here’s how it went down:

1. Andrews ran for Premier in 2014 promising to cancel the $5.3 billion BOT East-West Link contract that was dodgily signed by the incumbent government just before the election. According to this article, Andrews argued it was a “waste of money and didn’t stack up” and said the contract would be "ripped up at no cost because it was not worth the paper it was written on.” Instead he promoted a shovel-ready Western Distributor project at a modest $500 mil that he said could do the job more efficiently.

2. After he won the election largely on that issue, he did indeed tear up the contract with East West Connect consortium, comprising Australia’s Lend Lease, French company Bouygues, Spain's Acciona Infrastructure and Lend Lease's financing arm Capella Capital. But instead of it costing zero taxpayers dollars, Andrews paid the consortium $1.1 billion - not to build the road.
On Dec 12, 2017, he announced a secret new BOT project out of nowhere - the West Gate Tunnel - at 5.5 billion (later increased to 6.7 billion - including a clause guaranteeing a massive payout to Transurban if the increase was blocked by parliament).

Bear in mind, none of these shady BOT toll-road deals have anything to do with building a half-decent public transport system to reduce carbon emissions.

This The Age article asks?

"How did we get here?
We have an inkling with the West Gate Tunnel: it began life as a secret deal between Transurban and Labor. In 2015, two months after Mr Andrews won office, two former Labor advisers began work with Transurban. One was Treasurer Tim Pallas' chief of staff; the other headed John Brumby's (former Labor Premier’s) media unit.

Ever since, it's been full steam ahead on a project the government's figures show will be in gridlock ... a decade after opening." (my bold)

The next question is: Having blown off the European and Australian companies, who owns the companies that Andrews blew them off for?

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