Transport for NSW estimated toxic land was worth minus $7m months after purchase

By Shannon Jenkins

November 17, 2020

Chris Carr said Jenny West’s status in her job application was ‘well-advanced but not at the end of it’.  (Image: Adobe/ Keitma)

New South Wales Labor is set to introduce a motion to Parliament to refer the state government’s $53.5 Sydney land purchase to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

It has come after the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that analysis conducted by Transport for NSW found the residual value of the contaminated land at Camellia, Sydney, was calculated at between minus $3 million and minus $7 million.

The analysis detailed in a secret report was completed seven months after the state government bought the land for three times more than its estimated worth.

Property developer Billbergia had purchased the land in November 2015 for $38 million. The state government announced its major Parramatta Light Rail project just days later, and several months later bought the land off of Billbergia for $53.5 million.

Transport for NSW also agreed to pay for the remediation of the highly contaminated site, which has been estimated to come at a cost of more than $100 million. This was despite the six-hectare piece of land being valued at just $15.5 million.

Transport minister Andrew Constance recently said he has asked the NSW auditor-general to review the deal, with Labor to introduce the motion to refer the matter to ICAC on Tuesday.

The revelations come two months after the federal auditor-general found the commonwealth Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications overpaid almost $27 million for the 12-hectare Leppington Triangle site that was worth just $3.065 million.

Read more: ‘Commonwealth may have been defrauded’: Coverup could be afoot in bungled $30 million airport deal


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1 year ago

Slightly off topic but very similar in Victoria. Planning Minister Richard Wynne announces $5.3 Billion to build 12,200 homes for social housing. That is $440,000 per home, as I presume the government already has the land. That is a very expensive social house based upon a bulk buy. I would estimate a more accurate figure to be in the order of $150,000 to $180,000 so where is the other $3 Billion going? Different state, different issue same problem.

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