Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today evidence from Treasury boss Brett Rowse to the Budget and Finance Committee had made it clear the Weatherill Government had been considering the privatisation of some of the assets of SA Water and HomeStart Finance.
When Mr Rowse was asked directly about the possible sale of any of SA Water’s assets, Mr Rowse asked if he could give evidence to the Committee ‘in camera’ because of commercial confidentiality reasons:
Rob Lucas: Have you had any discussions in relation to the potential sale of other assets (SA Water) or is that the bit you want to…
Brett Rowse: That is the bit I wouldn’t mind discussing. It’s commercial in confidence which I need to talk to you about
“Information provided to the Liberal Party is that the Weatherill Government is considering the sale of some of SA Water’s assets even though they have been publicly denying it for years”, said Mr Lucas.
“It is clear from Treasury’s response today that this privatisation of some assets is being actively considered by Treasury and the Weatherill Government.”
Mr Rowse also refused to answer questions about the possible privatisation of HomeStart Finance:
Rob Lucas: Is there work being done on the possible privatisation of HomeStart?
Brett Rowse: I am unable to answer that question
Rob Lucas: You have been quite happy to talk about all the other things. Is that because you can’t talk about Cabinet issues?
Brett Rowse: Yes. I think that is probably the answer I would give.
“This answer makes it clear that Cabinet has obviously considered again the privatisation of HomeStart,” said Mr Lucas.
“We know that prior to the election Treasury had appointed a consultant to look at the possible privatisation of HomeStart.
“The deceit and hypocrisy of the Weatherill Government on the issue of privatisation is now apparent to everyone.
“Prior to the election the Government denied it was going to privatise the Motor Accident Commission even though they already secretly appointed consultants to look at the privatisation of MAC.
“In fact, Mr Weatherill as Treasurer hid the $100,000 they spent on consultants UBS to look at privatising MAC under payments to UBS for managing the privatisation of forests.
“People will find it hard to believe the Weatherill Government when they continue to deny they will privatise further assets.
“It is now time for Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis to come clean and be transparent and accountable about their further privatisation plans.”