Proceedings to be lodged in East West Project

MEDIA RELEASE:  RESIDENT ALLEGES MISLEADING CONDUCT IN THE EAST WEST BUSINESS CASE

Proceedings will be commenced today in the Supreme Court against the Victorian Government and Linking Melbourne Authority, alleging “misleading conduct” over the claimed benefits of the project.

In a statement of claim lodged today, Brunswick resident, Anthony Murphy is seeking to stop the tendering process, seeking of finance, and entering into contracts for the $8 billion first stage of the project based on what he claims is a misleading business case. It is alleged the project’s Benefit Cost Ratio (1.4), net economic benefit ($1.476 billion), and projected traffic volumes (100,000 to 120,000 vehicles) are misleading representations, and have not been based on standard methodology for major projects, as claimed.

The case is brought on behalf of Mr Murphy by Fitzroy Legal Service and Shine Lawyers, with counsel Ron Merkel QC, Melinda Richards SC and Simona Gory.

“This case is directed to transparency and accountability around a project that will have significant long-term impacts for our local environment, transport access, social amenity, divestment of public money from other projects, not to mention the very personal impacts on individuals directly affected,’ said Meghan Fitzgerald solicitor at Fitzroy Legal Service.

Mr Murphy, who has been engaged with the local Residents Against the Tunnel collective, explained his involvement in the proceeding:

‘I became involved in these issues in 1977, joining many inner city residents in opposing construction of the Eastern Freeway. The government of the day promised to build the Doncaster rail. It’s coming up to forty years, and we’re still waiting!

‘We are taking this legal action because we allege that in promoting and beginning work on the east west road the government has been misleading and deceptive. We are not alone in this view. Many citizens have complained of what appears to be a sidelining of due process in evaluating major projects in this State. We just want to get to the truth about the costs and the benefits of this project.’

For further media comment please contact:

Meghan Fitzgerald Solicitor/ Manager Social Action, Policy, Law Reform – Fitzroy Legal Service

Phone: 9411 1306 Mobile: 0450 977 447    Email: mfitzgerald@fitzroy-legal.org.au

Paula Shelton Senior Solicitor – Shine Lawyers

Phone:  9616 4229  Email: pshelton@shine.com.au

Residents Against the Tunnel – James Milne 0421 755 906

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