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Issue #1470      1 September 2010

Greens challenge secrecy surrounding Barangaroo financial details

NSW Greens MP and spokesperson for Planning. Sylvia Hale MLC, last week submitted an application to the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA) to release the missing financial details removed from the publicly available contract it signed with Lend Lease to develop the Barangaroo site.

“The government has made much of the new government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA), which has just come into force,” said Ms Hale. “It’s supposed to ensure greater access to information and transparency in government dealings.”

“But the Barangaroo Delivery Authority has made a mockery of GIPA.”

In no fewer than 85 clauses and 300 sub-clauses critical information has been excluded from the publicly released version of the contract between the BDA and Lend Lease.

Ms Hale said that whether it’s the “Date for Practical Completion”, the “Total Fixed Payment Amount”, or even the names of the Project Team members, the BDA is not telling us.

“The cost overruns involved in BER school libraries pale into utter insignificance when compared to the potential for millions of dollars of public money to be misspent at Barangaroo.

“Clearly the BDA is contemptuous of the public and the community’s right to know how public funds are being spent, let alone just what deals have been done with Lend Lease. It’s so contemptuous that it does not even have on its website a readily accessible application form so that people may request information.

“I am lodging a request with the BDA to release the information that has been withheld.

“If the BDA continues to refuse to release it, I shall pursue the matter with the Office of the Information Commissioner in order to enforce the statutory requirement that government authorities publish contracts, including dollar amounts, within 60 days of their signing,” said Ms Hale.  

Next article – Historic investment in fire fighting

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