Senator calls on Prime Minister to intervene over ATO site

Ms O’Neill said despite widespread community concern, member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks MP, and the Liberal Government have failed to act to stop the deeply unpopular decision to build the new government office block on prime community land.

“We’ve had nearly 1,000 people gather on the site to protest a decision by Lucy Wicks and the Liberal Government to take away prime waterfront land and stick an ugly, brown brick tax building on it.

“Yet in spite of loud and vigorous opposition, this government just won’t listen to the community,” Ms O’Neill said. Ms O’Neill will also be seeking a meeting to discuss the matter with Mr Turnbull and Treasurer, Mr Scott Morrison, personally.

Ms O’Neill said she would also submit a Notice of Motion into the Senate to force a vote from the Government on the issue if Mr Turnbull or Mr Morrison do not intervene to change the decision on the ATO’s location. “With this notice of motion, the issue will have to be dealt with by the Government.

“They will have to stand in the Parliament and vote this down, or stand with the community and support this motion,” Ms O’Neill said.

Calling for the government to immediately abandon their plans for the waterfront site, Ms O’Neill said the government and the parliament should listen to community concerns.

The motion, to be debated in the Senate in the coming sitting if they don’t respond sooner, calls on the Government to abandon their decision to locate the building on the proposed site, to consult the community when planning future infrastructure, and to use local developers and builders to ensure construction jobs are local.

Ms O’Neill said there were still too many questions for the government to answer, including the conduct of the tender process.

“There has been a lack of clarity around the tender process, with the appearance that some tenderers may have received additional information which gave them an advantage in the application process.

“This included limited access to the knowledge of the availability of the old Gosford Public School site which is currently under its own ongoing EOI process, and that the site could be split into smaller blocks.

“That sounds like an unfair process to me. “This process has been murky from the start. “The government needs to abandon this folly and start again.

“We need a clean tender process, and community involvement in this potential jobs home for the ATO on the Coast,” Ms O’Neill said.

Media release,
Oct 16, 2015
Richard Mehertens, Office
of Senator Deborah O’Neill

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