Water Week

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Vic’s new Treasurer, John Lenders, decides on $1bn-plus PPP for state’s first desal plant

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

He’s had a long apprenticeship, and now Victoria’s new Treasurer planned to keep the state growing, wrote Duncan Hughes in The Australian Financial Review (27/9/2007, p.69).

Infrastructure spending: Victoria’s mild-mannered new Treasurer, John Lenders, was about to oversee the most aggressive infrastructure spending in the state’s history as billions of dollars were pumped into water, ports and education. It’s a long way from the tough existence of his childhood on a dairy farm in remote Gippsland, working part time on accounts in a dairy company, or managing the clubs and societies budget for Monash University’s student union. After quitting teaching for law, Lenders found himself treading a well-worn path into a parliamentary career by being a Labor Party organiser, ministerial adviser, Victorian state secretary, campaign organiser and candidate.

Desal PPP: Lenders, who has never craved the spotlight, remained little known outside political circles despite having been a key player in the Victorian Labor Party’s revival from a basket case during most of the 1990s to a government in reach of a decade in power. He spent about seven years as understudy for his new job as a parliamentary secretary and then minister for finance, and was now backing a big role for the private sector in the projects, having just decided on a $1 billion-plus public private partnership for the state’s first desalination plant.

The Australian Financial Review, 27/9/2007, p. 69

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