By Luke Voogt
The Andrews government is “bullying” the final bidders for a $5 billion defence contract to choose Melbourne over Geelong, according to a coalition MP.
“Bullying is second nature to Daniel Andrews, and he’s at it again with this project,” Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay said.
He demanded the Government advocate for Geelong as the preferred site for phase two of the Land 400 project.
Last week Mr Ramsay accused state Industry Minister Wade Noonan of “warping the truth” about the bidders’ preferred location.
“Minister Wade Noonan … said the two tenderers for the $5 billion Land 400 project … preferred only the Fishermans Bend site,” Mr Ramsay told Parliament.
“That has actually been proved incorrect because both companies (said) they were willing to work in Geelong.”
Mr Ramsay called on the State Government to explain why Fishermans Bend was its “preferred site”.
“The deceptive Andrews government is desperate for this project to go to Fishermans Bend where it purchased the former General Motors Holden (GMH) site.
“Without a cornerstone project like this, the $130 million purchase looks potentially limp.”
Mr Ramsay also questioned the role of the newly created Defence Procurement Office in Geelong.
“Surely a Defence Procurement Office based in Geelong would be advocating for a defence procurement in Geelong … and yet silence?”
Federal Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson also accused the State Government of turning its back on Geelong.
“The decision to push the Land 400 defence contract into Fishermans Bend as a key part of Victoria’s incentive package was made solely by state Labor,” she said.
The Indy was unable to obtain comment from the State Government before going to press.