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BrisConn facing another move by angry investo -

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BrisConn facing another move by angry investor

The World Today - Friday, 24 April , 2009 12:42:00

Reporter: Annie Guest

PETER CAVE: In Queensland there's been another media event to promote progress on BrisConnections'
Airport Link project, but only silence on the latest threat to the company.

A substantial investor has launched a bid to bring another unit holder meeting together to remove
BrisConnections' management.

The company narrowly avoided a similar eventuality last week thanks to a deal with the renegade
investor Nick Bolton.

It comes as Queensland's Premier confirms the so-called tunnel funnelling was raised as a way out
of the financial problems surrounding the road toll and tunnel.

Reporter Annie Guest went along this morning. She joins us now.

Annie, first of all, what on earth is funnel tunnelling, tunnel funnelling?

ANNIE GUEST: Peter, tunnel funnelling is that controversial practice that happened in both Victoria
and New South Wales where roads are closed to funnel traffic onto a toll road and it created quite
a backlash there from motorists.

PETER CAVE: Okay what happened at the meeting this morning?

ANNIE GUEST: Well in short Peter it was the launch of a plastic banner. Hard-hatted and kitted in a
reflective jacket, Queensland's Premier gave the go-ahead for a big crane to life the banner that
read 'Airport Roundabout Upgrade'.

Now actually this is frequently blocked and the title probably doesn't do justice to the importance
of this stage of Australia's biggest road project, in total worth almost $5-billion.

But the good news of quick progress being made on the actual project continues to compete with the
bad news surrounding BrisConnections and in the latest development there is a bid to bring on
another unit holder meeting to remove the management.

PETER CAVE: Who is behind this one?

ANNIE GUEST: Well this one is being launched by the director banned by ASIC and the former Alan
Bond advisor Jim Burns. He represents a 15 per cent unit holding.

Now in terms of how success he could be, you have to consider that Nick Bolton has transferred the
bulk of his units to a man who might now support Burns but then counter-balance that with Macquarie
Group's offering to buy up unit holdings.

Today though, the chief executive of BrisConnections Ray Wilson didn't want to talk about any of
this. He declined to take questions after making a speech outlining the project's physical
progress.

RAY WILSON: It was only five months ago or five-and-a-half-months ago that together with the
Premier we marked the start of construction.

Today's ceremony continues to demonstrate the progress we are making in delivering these critical
pieces of infrastructure for Brisbane and for south-east Queensland.

PETER CAVE: The chief executive of BrisConnections, Ray Wilson, speaking but not answering.

Annie what did the Premier have to say about the latest developments?

ANNIE GUEST: Not a lot. Anna Bligh said the Queensland Government takes an interest but these are
really matters for BrisConnections and its financiers. But the Premier did confirm the Government
had been approached in recent times by one of the financiers about closing roads to funnel traffic
onto the toll road.

ANNA BLIGH: Approaches were made to the Government by some of the finance companies looking to get
a better deal for themselves by taking on things like traffic funnelling. That won't happen. We
haven't agreed to it and nor will we.

PETER CAVE: And that was Queensland Premier Anna Bligh at the launch of the latest stage of
Brisbane's Airport Link project.