NSW Labor has introduced laws to make the Sydney Motorway Corporation (SMC) subject to the same accountability and disclosure rules that apply to all other NSW government departments and agencies.
The SMC is responsible for delivering the WestConnex Project - Australia’s largest infrastructure project which has been plagued by failures, route changes and cost blow-outs.
The Government has prevented any scrutiny of the multi-billion dollar project by establishing the SMC as a private company. All other infrastructure projects in NSW are subject to some form of transparency and accountability.
Labor’s Public Accountability Legislation Amendment (Sydney Motorway Corporation) Bill 2018, will ensure that the SMC is subject to accountability requirements applying to public authorities and agencies.
With increased accountability the Berejiklian Government would no longer be able to hide behind claiming the SMC is “a private company” and the public would have better access to information about a project that taxpayer money is funding.
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill
“I’m disgusted that local residents have been blocked from accessing even the most basic information about WestConnex, particularly when it has had such a destructive impact on our local communities.
“At every stage, the Government has put up obstacles to stop residents from finding out the truth about this project. This is information many residents have desperately needed as they make critical decisions affecting their lives.
“Given what we are learning about the Government’s other botched infrastructure projects, it is absolutely right that we open up WestConnex to parliamentary and public scrutiny.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay
“The Government must compel the Sydney Motorway Corporation to answer questions about the failure of this expensive and controversial project instead of allowing it to hide behind a private company status.
“A dangerous precedent is being set by the Government by it continuing to shield the Sydney Motorway Corporation from scrutiny, restricting information to their glossy brochures and websites.
“The WestConnex project must have parliamentary and public oversight. If it refuses to support the legislation, the Government will once again trample on long established principles of public and Parliamentary scrutiny.”