The Auditor-General has stated that the submission presented to Cabinet regarding the Gillman land deal signed by Premier Weatherill and then Minister for Urban Development Tom Koutsantonis was “misleading”.
The Auditor-General’s Report says that the Renewal SA Board expected that Cabinet would be advised by the Minister that the Board had advised the Minister to reject ACP’s offer and should offer the land to the market for sale.
However, the Auditor-General says, “This advice was not included in the submission of 2 December 2013 presented to Cabinet”.
The Auditor-General also stated the following concerns about the Cabinet submission from Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis:
“Audit considers that the wording in the Cabinet submission may be misleading in that a reader may reasonably conclude that the ACP proposal had been compared to sales evidence of land size equivalent to the Gillman site when in fact it had not.”
“Audit considers that the wording in the Cabinet submission is misleading in that a reader may reasonably conclude that the Board had considered the revised ACP proposal as provided to Cabinet.”
We are also aware from Supreme Court Justice Blue’s judgement released this week that this Cabinet submission “contained a limited number of changes to the draft presented by Mr Hansen”.
This means that either or both of Mr Koutsantonis and Mr Weatherill approved changes to the draft which eventually went to Cabinet.
Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis need now to explain the details of the changes they made to the draft Cabinet submission.
“The Auditor-General’s findings are damning, as they mean Cabinet was not provided with critical facts on the Gillman deal and were misled in a material way on other important facts,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“Responsibility for this scandal rests with Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis and they now have to come out of hiding and respond in detail to the Auditor-General’s damning findings.”