Conflict between Weatherill and Koutsantonis

Key claims by Premier Weatherill about jobs and the oil and gas hub at Gillman are in direct conflict with statements made by Treasurer Koutsantonis.

One of Mr Weatherill’s key arguments for his controversial Gillman deal has been that the Government chose the oil and gas hub and 6000 jobs rather than the alternative of doing nothing and leaving the land dormant.

 

For example, on 20 January 2015 Mr Weatherill told ABC Radio:

 

Jay Weatherill: “… this wasn’t just a land sale, this was about a piece of industrial development for the creation of thousands of jobs… if people think that the South Australian Government is going to allow a piece of land that sat there for 30 odd years, the old MFP site to just lay dormant for another 30 years…

David Bevan: “But that wasn’t the only alternative was it?

Jay Weatherill: “In our view, in our judgment, it was.”

 

However, these statements are in direct conflict with a press release issued by Mr Koutsantonis on 22 November 2013 when he released the draft Master plan for Gillman from Renewal SA.

 

In this release, Mr Koutsantonis said:

 

“Up to 6000 jobs could be created in a new employment precinct at Gillman… the plan envisages a range of businesses… including distribution centres, warehousing, transport logistics, manufacturing industries, service industries and a variety of small to medium-sized businesses.”

 

The release makes no mention of an oil and gas hub as a focus but does indicate up to 6000 jobs would be created from a new industrial precinct.

 

“Clearly Mr Weatherill’s claim that there was no alternative to the ACP deal with its 6000 jobs other than doing nothing was untrue,” said Mr Lucas.

 

“In fact, Mr Koutsantonis and the Renewal SA Board had already released an alternative proposal in the Master plan which promised the same number of jobs as the ACP deal.

 

“This is yet another example where Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis have been caught out with wildly contradictory statement seeking to justify their controversial Gillman deal.

 

“Mr Weatherill must now ‘come clean’ and justify publicly his extraordinary claim there was no alternative to the ACP deal other than leaving the land dormant for another 30 years.”