Hold Premier Berejiklian to Account
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has raised serious questions about property developers appearing to have access to the Premier. A recent Government Information (Public Access) Act (GIPA) request has revealed that a group known as "Locals for Metro Southwest" was hosted by the Premier's Office for a meeting in the Premier's boardroom on 28 June 2019.
The "Locals for Metro Southwest" appear to be comprised of property developers and a registered lobbyist, yet there is no disclosure on the Premier's Ministerial Disclosure Log. The Premier's Office has refused to release the names of the advisors involved and has not released any minutes or further information about the meeting.
During the 2019 NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into the Sydenham-Bankstown line conversion, a number of witnesses raised concerns regarding the appearance of the "Locals for Metro Southwest". The group secured an exclusive video from the Transport Minister for its launch event in June 2018.
In November 2019, a member of the NSW Government issued a denial on behalf of the Transport Minister. But during NSW Budget Estimates in March 2020, the Transport Minister admitted to having created a video for the "Locals for Metro Southwest".
Information released by Office of Premier on 14 August 2020 (2 days prior to the Premier's secret ICAC hearing) about the Locals for Metro Southwest
More information about the "Locals for Metro Southwest" and representatives can be viewed below:
Grassroots volunteer group Locals for Metro South-West financially backed by Sydney developer
Harry Hughes - Axis Strategic Advisory [Registered Lobbyist]
https://lobbyists.elections.nsw.gov.au/whoisontheregister ["Locals for Metro Southwest" and CRK Properties are clients of Axis Strategic Advisory]
Chris Tsioulos - CMT Architects (Based in Kingsgrove) and Canterbury-Belmore Town Centre Alliance (TCA)
Chris Evans (from Blacktown)
Associated with Metro Storage, Canterbury - a site earmarked for development by Toplace (Jean Nassif)
Michael Katz and Eran Rimmer - CRK Properties (Based in Double Bay)
Aris Dimos - Omada Property Group (Based in Cremorne)
The Premier's Office has a hosted meeting with a group known as the "Locals for Metro Southwest" which appear to be property developers and a registered lobbyist at a time when genuine community concerns about the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project and over-development in the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor were ignored.
Why has the Premier's Office refused to release the names of advisors involved?
Why are there no minutes of the meeting or why have the documents not been released?
Has the Premier or Premier's staff shredded documents related to the "Locals for Metro Southwest"?
What was discussed at the meeting in the Premier's boardroom on 28 June 2019?
Why did the Transport Minister actually do a video for the "Locals for Metro Southwest" and how was it arranged?
Is it a coincidence that the "Locals for Metro Southwest" event in June 2018 was held on the same day that the NSW Department of Planning opened its public exhibition of the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro's Preferred Infrastructure Report?
These are some of the many serious questions that deserved to be asked of the NSW Government!
Please write to all members of both of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council urging accountability for the actions of the NSW Government. Your support is much appreciated in the fight to improve transparency.