6 August 2020
Labor has successfully censured the Leader of the NSW Government in the Legislative Council Don Harwin today, for failing to release the business case for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link.
The Legislative Council has passed multiple resolutions since November last year, demanding the business case be released. Mr Harwin refused.
Labor Leader in the Legislative Council Adam Searle said: “The Legislative Council demanded the business case, and for the better part of a year the Government has refused to comply.
“It’s undemocratic for the NSW Government to attempt to hide financial details of a $14 billion project from elected members. For more than 20 years Members of the Upper House have had access to confidential Government documents, and provided careful oversight and scrutiny” — Adam Searle MLC, Labor Leader in the Legislative Council
“Today Parliament sent the NSW Government a message that it is not above the rules and it is not above scrutiny. The Government must now hand over the full and underacted business case.”
Labor Shadow Minister for Roads John Graham said: “This is about important public infrastructure, not state secrets. The Government should come clean with the community.
“The only reason not to release this business case is because the NSW Government knows it doesn’t stack up.
“The Government has ignored concerns about the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link from people worried about toxic sludge, construction risks and pollution.”
The Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link is set to become one of the nation’s most expensive roads projects, at $14 billion for 14 km. That’s $1 billion per kilometre.
A censure is a formal condemnation by the Parliament, and among the most serious levers Opposition has to hold the Government to account. It was passed today by a margin of 22 votes to 16.