The Greens say an investigation is needed into the offsets for the Western Sydney Airport, after revelations that consortiums including advisors to the NSW government made millions from the development.
An investigation by Lisa Cox at The Guardian revealed that over a quarter of all offsets sold in the NSW scheme were collected by the consortiums.
Quotes attributable to Greens Leader, Adam Bandt:
“Public trust is paramount for major projects and the revelations published in the Guardian this morning puts a massive question mark over the environmental value of offsets for the Western Sydney Airport.
“There needs to be an investigation into any conflicts of interests and possible insider trading.
“This is happening on the Morrison government’s watch. Our national environment laws are too weak.
Quotes attributable to Greens Environment spokesperson, Sarah Hanson-Young:
“The offsets system is an utter rort. Just another scam for the Morrison Government to give their big developer and mining mates a green light for the environment wrecking projects.
“This is just more proof the Morrison Government and their state counterparts can’t be trusted to protect the environment and our wildlife. We need stronger laws, not weaker ones.
“Next week the Senate will be reviewing the Morrison’s Government’s moves to scrap environment laws. I will pursue this scandal with the Government officials. The Government must be held to account.
Quotes attributable to Greens Co-Deputy Leader, Larissa Waters:
“Even the rorts are stuffed with rorts! This isn’t the first time serious questions have been raised about who’s profiting from the Western Sydney airport project.
“Last year we discovered that the federal government had paid a Liberal Party donor 10 times the fair value of a parcel of land earmarked for a second runway, handing over $29.8 million of taxpayer money for property valued at $3.1 million.
“And now we learn that a consultant has made a motza by advising governments to purchase environmental offset properties he had a financial stake in.
“Clearly there are problems with the governance of this project and both the NSW and federal governments have a lot of questions to answer. It’s yet another reminder why the Greens continue to call for a strong and independent national corruption watchdog.”