Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis seemed to have suffered a ‘convenient’ memory loss about a secret study into the possible sale of SA Water assets conducted prior to the election.
“This morning in a radio interview Mr Koutsantonis couldn’t remember whether his Government had paid consultants KPMG $100,000 prior to the election to provide advice on the sale or privatisation of some SA Water assets,” said Mr Lucas.
“This claim by Mr Koutsantonis is impossible to believe as we first raised this issue with Treasury Chief Executive Brett Rowse in the Budget and Finance Committee on 23 June 2014:
Rob Lucas: I have been informed that you have actually done a scoping study on some assets with SA Water
Brett Rowse: Again I’m unable to disclose matters which may have gone to Cabinet
“On 13 August 2014 Mr Rowse confirmed in answers to the Budget and Finance Committee that KPMG had been appointed in October 2012 and paid $100,000 to do a ‘scoping study for potential asset divestment’ for SA Water assets.
“These answers were provided by Treasury to Mr Koutsantonis and his office last year.
“So it is impossible to believe that Mr Koutsantonis had no knowledge this morning of his own Government’s secret study into privatising SA Water assets.
“After evidence yesterday in the Budget and Finance Committee it has now been revealed that the Government has been engaged in secret discussion about a proposal for the privatisation of some SA Water assets.
“Mr Koutsantonis has confirmed that a proposal for the privatisation of SA Water’s Aldinga Treatment Works had been received by the Government.
“The Liberal Party understands that this proposal had been given to the Weatherill Government’s State Coordinator General Mr Jim Hallion and his team for consideration.
“Mr Koutsantonis is now claiming he won’t approve the privatisation of SA Water’s Aldinga Treatment Works.
“Of course that is what the Weatherill Government said about the privatisation of MAC!
“The hypocrisy of Mr Koutsantonis and Mr Weatherill on privatisation is now apparent to everyone.
“It is time for Mr Koutsantonis and Mr Weatherill to come clean and reveal precisely the nature of this secret discussion they have been having on the privatisation of some SA Water assets.”