The Rann Government had been forced to reveal that there had been a massive blowout in the annual payment for the six supposed “Super Schools” from the original estimate of $13 million per year to $27 million per year.
“The Rann Government revealed originally the estimated annual payment of $13 million for the “Super Schools” in its 2006-07 budget papers,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“The fact that the actual annual payment for six schools is more than double the original estimate is a clear demonstration of the financial incompetence of Treasurer Foley and the Rann Government.
“Since July of this year the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee has been pursuing the Rann Government to reveal the actual annual payment being paid to the private sector companies who won the public-private partnership deal.”
Mr Lucas said the Under Treasurer, Jim Wright, had provided the information to the Budget and Finance Committee, but had claimed it was confidential and not to be released:
“The Committee should note that this information is designated confidential under the New School Project with standards and is being provided to the Committee solely to satisfy the requirements of parliamentary accountability pursuant to Clause 74.3 of the Project Agreement.” (Under Treasurer Jim Wright, 26-Aug-09)
“However, public and parliamentary accountability can only be achieved if this information is made available to all MPs and publically as well. Clause 74.3 is similar to claims in other agreements which make it clear that this payment might have to be released,” Mr Lucas said.
“After five months of fighting against the release of this $27 million figure, it was only after the Liberal Opposition released a statement to the media that Mr Foley eventually has released the actual payment.
“Mr Foley would also have been aware that the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee had the power to decide to release this figure, despite the Rann Government’s desire for secrecy.
“It is now clear that total taxpayer payments over the 30 year deal will be at least $810 million for six supposed “Super Schools”.
“It’s not surprising that Mr Foley and the Rann Government were fighting to prevent the public release of this annual payment figure.
“Mr Foley must now justify why he signed this deal, especially as it has already been revealed that it was three per cent more expensive than if the six schools had been built using the traditional public sector model.
“Mr Rann and Mr Foley had always promised they would not make these PPP deals unless they were cheaper than the traditional public sector alternative.”