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NEW measures to help improve integrity and transparency in government land acquisitions will be introduced today, February 14, following a series of controversial, taxpayer-funded multimillion dollar land deals under the Labor-Greens government, says Opposition Leader Alistair Coe.
The “Land Acquisitions (Reporting Requirements) Amendment Bill 2018”, which will be tabled by Mr Coe today in the ACT Legislative Assembly, will ensure that due diligence has been applied to all government land acquisitions by making acquisition information publicly available.
Under the Bill, the government will need to make quarterly reports on all land acquisitions and a statement on purchases would need to be tabled within six sitting days rather than the current requirement of 15.
Mr Coe says there are simply too many property scandals in Canberra, many of which have been subject of public debate and investigation by the Auditor-General.
“The government’s use of public funds must always be in the public interest, but far too often revelations of multimillion dollar land deals shrouded in secrecy brings the Labor-Greens government’s financial integrity into question,” he says.
“In some instances, we have had to rely on secret tipoffs to learn of multimillion dollar government land purchases. This information should be publicly available.
“The measures I am introducing today are intended to ensure that all government land acquisitions are made with a high level of transparency, accountability and rigor.
“In the absence of Canberra’s own anti-corruption commission, this is a simple and reasonable step toward greater transparency and integrity in Canberra.”