The Senate has supported a Greens motion for the Turnbull Government to table all correspondence relating to the extra $260 million announced for the Perth Freight Link tunnel and the business case analysis, which has remained secret, despite $1.2 billion already pledged for the project.
“Mr Turnbull talks up his innovation credentials while throwing away $1.2 billion on a project no one in WA wants. Maybe this thing looks great from Wentworth, but Western Australians are going to fight this all the way to the election, and we're going to stop this project,” said Senator Ludlam.
“The Government is also ignoring its own policy to provide a business case for any project over $100million.
“We want to see all correspondence between the ministers at both levels of Government and their departments. The business case has to be disclosed. It is obvious the Government has something to hide, otherwise we wouldn’t have to keep bringing forward these Senate resolutions.”
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NOTICE OF MOTION 18 April 2016 Supported on April 19
I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that –
1. The Senate notes:
a. As Prime Minister Turnbull stated on 15 November 2010 when in Opposition it would beggar belief that a government could be so reckless as to allow a massive investment to proceed without the publication of a business case, without the ongoing scrutiny of a parliamentary committee and, above all, without a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, and that any major infrastructure project must be subject to a rigorous cost benefit analysis and if it does not pass a rigorous cost benefit analysis it detracts from Australia’s wellbeing.
b. Resolution of the Senate of 14 October 2015 proposed by Nationals Senator Canavan that noted the importance of significant funding proposals being accompanied by detailed business cases and subject to a full assessment process, including by Infrastructure Australia, if $100 million or more of Commonwealth funding is sought, to ensure value for taxpayers’ money;
c. The announcement on April 12 by Prime Minister Turnbull of an additional $260 million for the Perth Freight Link, bringing the total federal contribution to $1.2 billion for a project with no business case; and
d. The ongoing deterioration in Western Australia’s budget position, with the recent downgrading of Western Australia’s Triple A credit rating to AA2, the second credit downgrading in 18 months.
2. There be laid on the table by no later than 4pm Wednesday 20 April 2016 by the Minister for Finance, the following documents:
a. All correspondence between any Minister and/or member of the federal bureaucracy with any Minister and/or member of the state bureaucracy the decision to provide an additional $260 million funding for the Perth Freight Link tunnel and the related public announcement – including any requests or proposals for additional funding from either government, any costings, briefing notes, speaking points, designs, maps, availability and type of tunnelling infrastructure, and related documents;
b. Any correspondence between the Minister for Finance or any member of the Turnbull government and any member of the Western Australian government including the Premier, relating to expediting the federal funding of the Perth Freight Link project;
c. The business case and cost benefit analysis for the Perth Freight Link Tunnel; and
d. A list of every National Partnership Agreement for infrastructure projects that have received over $100 million in federal funding from the Abbott-Turnbull government without a published business case and cost-benefit analysis.
SENATOR SCOTT LUDLAM