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October 28, 2015
The Baird Government has refused to come clean on secret negotiations with a private toll operator to change the toll on the Cross City Tunnel through taxpayer funded subsidies.
While the cost to taxpayers could potentially run into the tens of millions of dollars, the Government refused to disclose any details about the negotiations in Parliament this afternoon.
In Question Time today, the Opposition grilled Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian on the Government’s lack of transparency.
Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley asked:
How much taxpayer money is the Government prepared to pay to private company Transurban for changes to the operation of the Cross City Tunnel?
Member for Granville Julia Finn asked:
As a shareholding Minister, why is the Sydney Motorway Corporation, which is 100 per cent government owned, not subject to the Government Information and Privacy Act?
Member for Summer Hill Jo Haylen asked:
As a shareholding minister, why is the Sydney Motorway Corporation exempt from provisions of the Public Authorities (Financial Arrangements) Act?
Ms Berejiklian refused to disclose any information in response to the questions.
The secret dealing keeps to the Government’s trend of failing to disclose information.
Despite being responsible for the $15.4 billion WestConnex project, the newly formed Sydney Motorway Corporation doesn’t have to disclose any operational information publicly.
The government has ensured the Sydney Motorway Corporation is exempt from the Government Information (Public Access) Act, which means that all information related to WestConnex is shrouded in secrecy.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Jodi McKay
“The Baird Government is willing to spend taxpayer money like it’s Monopoly money and not tell taxpayers where it’s being spent.”
“This is another case of secrecy by a Government that prefers to operate behind closed doors.”
“The Government owes taxpayers an explanation about where their money is being spent and how.”
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