We brought proceedings that called the government to account on the accuracy of representations made about the largest infrastructure project Victoria had ever committed to. The case traversed the Supreme Court of Victoria, Court of Appeal, High Court of Australia, and was remitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria, in the space of several months. The case argued that the public-private partnership through which the East West Link was to be constructed, financed and operated involved the State in ‘carrying on a business’. It was further alleged that the representations made in the short form of the business case as to the Net Economic Benefit and Benefit Cost Ratio of the project were misleading and deceptive, and made in the course of trade and commerce.
Injunctions were sought preventing the continued publication of the representations, and entering into contracts where those representations had been made in the procurement process. Discovery of documents, including the long form of the business case, were opposed by the State and the Linking Melbourne Authority on the basis of public interest immunity. Following the 2014 election and change of government, the business case was released for inspection to the public. On 15 April 2015, the government announced the road project would no longer proceed.