ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN
The Morrison Government's infrastructure credibility has taken another hit today, with Paul Fletcher returning to the Urban Infrastructure and Cities portfolio just three years after he ticked off the purchase of the Leppington Triangle.
Speaking at the National Press Club in September, Minister Fletcher admitted he received a briefing on the acquisition of the Leppington Triangle, but failed to ask any of the relevant questions that could have stopped $26.7m of taxpayer money being wasted.
The ANAO Audit Report into the purchase of the Leppington Triangle stated that "formal briefings omitted relevant information, such as: the purchase price; that the price exceeded all known market valuations of the land; and the method of acquisition." How can the minister not notice that a brief relating to the purchase of land did not include a purchase price?
This was ministerial incompetence. In an attempt to hide from scrutiny, the Morrison Government has failed to comply with a Senate Order to publicly release these briefs.
Today's reshuffle means that billions of dollars in infrastructure investment is now overseen by one minister who didn't bother to find out the cost of a project, and a Deputy Prime Minister who sees the waste of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars as "a bargain".
And at the top of it all is a Prime Minister who brushed it all off as a "process" issue.
Australians can have no confidence in the Morrison Government's infrastructure program.
Labor this month established a Senate Inquiry to find out what went on with this land purchase and ensure the Western Sydney Airport project is successfully completed. We call on the Morrison Government to participate fully.