Secret documents released by NSW Labor have revealed that the Berejiklian Liberal Government is gearing up to sell the entire WestConnex motorway project to the private sector.
Treasury documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws have shed light on Premier Berejiklian’s secret plan to privatise the remaining 49 per cent of Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC), the company in charge of the $16.8 billion taxpayer-funded WestConnex project.
The document states: “A further sale of the NSW Government’s remaining 49% equity in SMC remains a live option for the NSW Government.”
Plans for the sale of the entire project come years before it’s even completed.
Earlier this year, the Berejiklian Liberal Government locked Western Sydney motorists into the unfair M4 toll until 2060 after selling the majority stake (51 per cent) in the SMC.
In response to Labor’s Freedom of Information request Treasury wrote:
“… a further sale of the Government’s equity remains a live option under deliberation” and “disclosure of the information in these documents would prejudice any such future sale.”
This privatisation obsessed government has already sold off $70 billion worth of public assets including the Land and Property Information – which manages the deeds to everyone’s homes in NSW – with a stake now foreign owned.
The Liberals have also sold off the State’s electricity assets and ports, and have plans to privatise hospitals, Sydney Water and more public transport services.
Yesterday, Labor Leader Michael Daley and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Ryan Park revealed that the Liberal Government had squandered more than $13 billion of taxpayers’ hard-earned money on badly managed projects including WestConnex and the Sydney Light Rail.
Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley
“This is privatisation madness. Land and Property Information, the electricity network, roads and hospitals – enough is enough!
“This Government behaves like a corporation. It only cares about shareholders not NSW families and motorists paying unfair tolls.
“This entire project continues to be shrouded in secrecy – the Liberals will do everything they can to hide the truth.
“This is a privatisation obsessed Government. They promise big when they sell-off NSW taxpayer projects but instead of delivering they waste billions on cost blowouts.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Ryan Park
“The Liberals have privatised $70 billion worth of public assets. The state should not be treated like a fire sale and left without any assets for future-proofing NSW.
“The WestConnex project has been plagued by delays, cost blowouts and legal action – the whole thing is a mess.
“The WestConnex sale price represents just a fraction of the tolls that Sydney motorists – and their children and grandchildren – will pay for years to come.
“The Liberals have locked motorists into decades of unfair tolls and only Labor will bring back the M4 Cashback.”
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill
“This latest revelation is another slap in the face for inner west residents who have lived through years and years of construction pain.
"Not only has the Government torn up their local suburbs, but they're literally selling off the ground beneath their feet.
"The Government is now selling off projects they haven't even finished building yet."