BAIRD BACKFLIP ON COMPULSORY ACQUISTIONS IS ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO SAVE HIS OWN POLITICAL SKIN
October 18, 2016
Premier Mike Baird has been shamed into action and forced to compensate hundreds of families whose properties his government forcibly acquired.
Almost 1000 days after receiving a landmark review of the property acquisition process for major infrastructure projects Mr Baird announced that he will pay retrospective compensation to families his government shortchanged.
In May 2012 the Baird Government commissioned David Russell QC to examine just terms acquisition legislation. The Baird Government received the report in February 2014 and, after concerted pressure from Labor, the media and the community, the Premier was forced into a humiliating admission that his government knowingly treated homeowners with cavalier disregard.
Earlier in the year the NSW Government tried to bury the report because it argued it would hold up projects and cost too much but its actions were exposed by the media and the NSW Opposition.
Today the Government has been forced to pay almost $50,000 in additional compensation to hundreds of homeowners for the “inconvenience and stress” it has caused them.
Following the backflip on the greyhound ban, today’s capitulation exposes the lengths to which Mr Baird will go to salvage his shredded political reputation and shore up dwindling public support.
Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley
“Hundreds of families have been ripped off by Mr Baird’s government and yet he wants a round of applause for suddenly doing the right thing and compensating them.
“Mr Baird refers to these people as customers, they aren’t customers they are families that have been ripped off by his Government.
“Mr Baird hasn’t just woken up and decided to give justice to people he has treated with contempt; he is doing this because he is in political trouble.
“This is just another desperate bid by Mr Baird to save his own political skin. Like the greyhounds, he has done the wrong thing, been found out and now he is trying to repair the damage to his own reputation.
“It took Mr Baird 1000 days to respond to a report that he kept hidden from the public and yet in the meantime he was happy to treat homeowners with cavalier disregard.
“Once again Mr Baird has put himself and his own political reputation before the interests of the people of NSW.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Jodi McKay
“The Baird Government should have acted more quickly to address this problem but what it did was actually bury the report and hope that it could get away with it.
“The Baird Government has been shamed into releasing the review. They have treated hundreds of families with complete disrespect.
“It is an appalling admission that they have cheated hundreds of families.”