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Treasurer calls into Neil Mitchell to defend himself: Hear how it went

The day after Victoria’s Auditor-General slammed the state government for approving Transurban’s West Gate Tunnel plan without proper evidence that it was the best-value option, Treasurer Tim Pallas was listening in his car as Neil Mitchell opined.

“The toll roads don’t work for us.

“They might work for Transurban and their profits. They might work for Daniel Andrews and his spin.

“But they are not working for you and me. They’re expensive and inefficient.

“The Auditor-General confirmed the criticisms of myself and others — this deal was done without tender, without proper examination.

“This is a level of arrogance I have not seen from government before.

“It is cynical, and an outrageous way to handle public money.”

Neil Mitchell was later told that Mr Pallas was listening.

8.48AM: “We’re told by his people Tim Pallas is in his car listening — he’s welcome to call in any time and we’ll put him to air.”

And then two minutes later…

8.50AM: “On the line now, Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas…”

Under intense grilling, Mr Pallas defended the process.

“We looked at some 22 different capital construction options … and eight or nine tolling variations,” he said.

Neil: Well will you make those public?

Mr Pallas: Well, why Neil?

Neil: Because we need to be reassured and the Auditor-General is saying this is a dud deal.

Click PLAY to hear Neil Mitchell’s full grilling of Treasurer Tim Pallas