In the first of the ACT Government’s asset sale to fund Capital Metro, the Auditor-General’s report on the ACTTAB sale to Tabcorp found that it lacked probity and transparency.
The Auditor-General’s findings noted that:
…the high standard of probity that would be expected for such a complex, large and high risk sale was not evident. There was a lack of transparency due to poor documentation. Some processes were inadequate, including there being no finalised risk plan and the one that was produced being developed too late to influence processes.
“These findings are a damning indictment on the Government’s handling of the ACTTAB sale,” said Mr Smyth.
“In this deal, Tabcorp was awarded a 50 year license with zero tax on tote earnings, and less than 1% on sports bookmaking license. While just across the border in NSW, the TAB paid 19% and 10% in respectively.
“The Government has set a dangerous precedent with their handling of this sale. If they got it this wrong, how can you trust them with the assets sale program for Capital Metro?
“When it comes to selling the Territory’s publicly owned assets, the end does not justify the means.
“The Auditor-General’s findings are nothing more than further proof of the ACT Government’s contempt for Canberrans who are faced with ever increasing taxes, charges, and rates to pay for their follies,” said Mr Smyth.