NSW Government bought land for three times its value for light rail project
17 Nov 2020

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the Government’s $53.5 million purchase of a highly contaminated parcel of land near Parramatta should be fully investigated and could be sent to the state’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Ms Berejiklian was responding to a joint 7.30 and The Sydney Morning Herald investigation into a parcel of land at Camellia.

Asked whether she would refer the deal to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Ms Berejiklian said “that could very well already have occurred”, adding she believed the matter needed to be investigated in the “fullest way”.

“I’m extremely concerned by it and I think it warrants appropriate investigation,” she said.

When asked whether it should go to ICAC, Ms Berejiklian responded: “Potentially — absolutely.”

The major land deal is under scrutiny after the NSW Government paid three times its value in an urgent “out of session” meeting.

The cost of the land and remediation of the contaminated site is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $100 million.

A NSW property developer, Billbergia, bought the land at 6 Grand Avenue, Camellia, 13 days before the Government announced its multi-billion-dollar Parramatta Light Rail project on December 8, 2015.

By Adele Ferguson and Chris Gillett, ABC News, 16 November 2020

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