The NSW Labor Opposition has branded a taxpayer-funded road trip to spruik the WestConnex sale a shameful waste of money.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet dispatched two bureaucrats – one from Treasury the other from Transport - and a banker involved in selling the toll road on a $120,000 trip across the globe to conduct a sales roadshow, according to a freedom of information request by Labor MLC Daniel Mookhey.
The privatisation-mad Berejiklian-Barilaro Government is selling at least 51 per cent of the WestConnex roads project to the highest bidder.
Late last year the trio travelled to the US, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia to meet with possible bidders of the Sydney Motorway Corporation, the government-controlled entity that owns WestConnex.
Ads costing $20,000 were also placed in newspapers to reach countries as diverse as Albania and Azerbaijan and Russia to drum up interest in the sale.
Goldman Sachs – the global investment bank advising the State Government – has already been paid $143,000. It stands to make tens of millions of dollars in fees and commission as the sale goes through later this year.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Transport and Roads Minister Jodi McKay
“It is bad enough that public funds are being used to build a toll road that will then be sold to the highest bidder but it is frankly insulting that taxpayers have to foot the bill for a sales roadshow.’
‘Money that could have been spent on more road safety has been frittered away on a junket, in pursuit of the continuing massive sell off of the state’s assets by the Premier and her privatisation-mad cronies.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Daniel Mookhey
“Some in Western Sydney are paying thousands of dollars a year in tolls to get work, while the Berejiklian Government paid over $6000 a day to send a banker and two bureaucrats on a working overseas holiday.
“To Gladys Berejiklian these are just numbers on a banker’s spreadsheet. Like the people who’re forced to pay her tolls.”