Victorian taxpayers face massive East West Link compensation bill, contract or not

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    "Treasurer Tim Pallas claimed the side letter represented "an act of treachery and treason" proving the former government was always aware the contract for the project was shaky.

    "It is an obscenity, it is a contortion of public policy and good pubic interest protection," Mr Pallas said. "The fact is there was considerable uncertainty, uncertainty that went directly towards the protection of the Victorian taxpayers' interests.""

    "Associate Professor Ken Coghill, a former state MP and now director of the Monash Governance Research Unit, said it was very unusual for a government to issue a side letter promising compensation for a project that might not proceed.

    "It really is highly irregular and very suspicious," he said. "They should never have considered making an assurance like that."

    Professor Coghill said it was inappropriate for the Coalition to commit to paying compensation without a public debate first. "It should have been raised publicly in Parliament before the Parliament was dissolved for the caretaker period."
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