Keep a few things in mind here.
In the space of a few days, the Western Australia Government policy about the Dawesville Channel changes 180 degrees. Before the Cabinet meeting of Monday, 25 November 1991 the Government's policy was to compulsorily acquire the land that would be needed for the channel. The official plan was for the government to build the channel at government cost with the people owning the infrastructure.
Marine engineers and construction companies were entitled to rely on the government's announcements and to believe they would have a chance to bid. Industry would have geared up to respond to the competitive tendering process so as to win the work.
Then 25 November 1991, the Carmen Lawrence Labor Cabinet meets and with no obvious public process, turns the whole thing on its head. Instead of Wannunup Development and its associated companies having their swamp land compulsorily acquired from them (on just terms, as per the Constitution - ie not super-profit terms, just just terms) - now Wannunup Developments suddenly gets announced as the developer of the whole Dawesville Channel project. The primary purpose of the Channel was to renew the water-way, any property development that arose was ancillary and secondary. It's simply breath-taking that the Cabinet made that call to install a property developer as its prime contractor to deliver the marine engineering works.
We now know that Thiess paid what appears to be corrupt payments to Bruce Wilson during the whole of the life of the Dawesville Channel project - and beyond. It's important that we find out where that cash went. The project finished in April, 1994 but the corrupt payments continued for a further 6 months. Why?
Here is the official statement from the Western Australian Government marking the completion of the project to build the channel.
The fact of the completion coming 8 months ahead of schedule was apparently not good news for the Gillard-designed Workplace Reform Association. It continued to produce sham invoices not withstanding the project having finished and the two "office holders" from the AWU having ceased very publicly to be AWU office-holders. Didn't stop the approvers at Thiess, the invoices went out, were approved and the money came in to Bruce Wilson's control. The fishy smells weren't confined to the channel. This invoice is 6 months after worked stopped on the Dawesville project. Blewitt/Wilson will have questions to answer, but so must the officials in Thiess who authorised payment and the members of the Lawrence Cabinet who made the decision to hand the work to Wannunup/Thiess with no competitive process.
So back to January 1992 and the Agreement with Wannunup Development and the propopent ministers is struck (amazingly it seems to be exchange of letters, it's only $60M) .
Keep in mind that Wannunup lobbied to get the gig to build the Channel on their own land. They wanted it that way.
Then after the event, they get compensated for the destruction of their land with the Government building for them vaste swathes of reclaimed new land using the fill from the Channel!
You will find the bulk of the details here http://epa.wa.gov.au/EPADocLib/704_B640.pdf
These documents might be useful too. http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/dop_pub_pdf/spp2_1.pdf
StephenJ has cast his forensic eye over the documents, and he advises:
1. Some original approval was granted in 1988 to reclaim about 10ha using spoil from the dredging.
From report on Environmental Acceptability
Spoil from the channel was to be used in redeveloping fill areas as stable and varied landscape.
Land area used to dispose of excavated material to be contoured to facilitate future development into prime residential area.
Therefore potential benefits to owners recognised.
8/1/92 need to increase size of reclaimed area to ensure adequate spoil disposal area.
6/7/92 Spoil from Estuary dredging unsuitable for sub divisional fill.
Cost of disposal offsite $3-4 mill. If can’t be used for building probably a cost. Another benefit for owners.
Govnt committed to exchanging 5 ha to north of channel in accordance with Land Exchange Agreement entered in January 92.
Wannunup plan to purchase a further 5 ha in vicinity as forced to abandon plans for waterway development to south.
Contamination from rubbish tip has affected at least 5ha of land acquired as part of Land Exchange.
The land acquired from the Govnt is in exchange for land on which the channel is sighted. Land acquired is at least 10ha
Finally on 21/2/92 the Planning Policy for the region is rewritten.
Refers to residential zones 6.1 and Golf courses 6.3.
If I acquire some land and get permission to build say some Town Houses it would be normal for the Council to require me to make certain contributions for Parks and water and sewerage headworks.
Sometimes I could be required to meet the costs of channelling a creek nearby or contribute to road works.
If I built a subdivision the roads would normally vest in the council on completion.
I wouldn’t expect to have the council give me land in exchange for the roads within the subdivision.
The developer here needs the channel to build the Marina and canal estate; the developer of the subdivision needs the roads to develop the estate.
The subdivision pays for the roads. Wannunup gets the Govnt paying for most of the channel.
The roads in the subdivision vest in the Council with no compensation.
Wannunup get land in exchange for the land used for the channel.
I would hazard a guess and say that the increase in value of the land because of the construction of the channel is much greater than the $6mil that Wannunup is supposed to have contributed.