04 July 2013
Alex Greenwich MP has slammed the poor process of the predicted Government decision to recommend Crown Casino’s plan for a second Sydney casino on public land at Barangaroo progress to the next stage of the unsolicited proposal process.
“Many people see this decision as proof of undue influence and a different set of rules for those who can afford it”
“The unsolicited proposal process is meant to be about innovative ideas that bring real public benefit, but has been used to push through an expansion of gambling and privatisation of public land for an influential billionaire,” Mr Greenwich said.
“The integrity of the David Murray review has been questioned. Public submissions were not sought, there was no community debate and massive community opposition was ignored. Gambling experts, community groups and welfare organisations were not consulted and social impacts do not appear to have been considered.
“There was no genuine competitive process to consider the best outcome. Final proposals from Crown and Echo were submitted less than two weeks ago and negotiations have not occurred,” Mr Greenwich said.
“Rules for unsolicited proposals were changed just before James Packer’s proposal, preventing the need for independent evaluation before the Government deals with one company,” Mr Greenwich said.
“Vital public confidence in a rigorous and politically independent process has been lost. I have asked the NSW Auditor General to audit the review to ensure it aimed at achieving a positive social and economic outcome for Sydney and New South Wales.” The letter can be read HERE
Mr Greenwich said the process the Government took also raises questions about their approach to new planning laws:
“The Government’s assessment process looks like a sham and raises serious concerns about ministerial discretion in planning decisions. Many in the community, including the ICAC, already believe that the proposed planning reforms are open to misuse to favour developers”.
"We all want to see NSW thrive and prosper with a strong economy, but this shouldn’t mean we adopt a whatever-it-takes attitude,” Mr Greenwich concluded.
For further information contact Alex Greenwich MP on 9360 3053.