Letters to the editor: Tuesday, April 18

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, is spearheading the privatisation of Land and Property Information. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian, is spearheading the privatisation of Land and Property Information. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Sale to ‘drive profits out of Australia’

I was bitterly disappointed to learn that the economic gurus of the NSW Liberal and National parties – Gladys Berejiklian, Dominic Perrottet and John Barilaro have rushed through the sale of the Titling and Registry Services (TRS) (income generating) part of Land & Property Information (LPI) a division of the NSW Department of Finance Services and Innovation (Disclaimer: I do not work for this government department) sold to First State Super and a foreign corporation (Hastings) with many of the profits to leave NSW and Australia.

Of course the Premier, Treasurer and Deputy Premier didn’t get to this decision by themselves, former Premier Mike Baird has his fingers in this pie and local Nationals MP’s Kevin Anderson, Adam Marshall , Kevin Humphries and Troy Grant and indeed all Liberals and Nationals as well as Fred Nile acted in concert to ensure this sale confirmed by Hansard back in September 2016. 

It is obvious that our local MP’s haven’t understood the impact of their short-sighted decision which will go down in history as one of the worst asset sales/privatisations undertaken by the Coalition and I will elaborate why. The government sold the TRS for a heavily discounted price of $2.6 billion for a 35-year lease. TRS had annual net profits of $130 million per annum, meaning that over the life of the lease the state of NSW will lose around $2 billion excluding revenue from fee hikes and CPI increases. That is $2 billion lost income not available to future governments to spend on health, education, roads and transport.

The winning bidder will be able to jack up fees and charges because it is a monopoly asset that will have no competition anywhere else in this state.  This will impact on the costs of property transfers of title for new or existing homes and plan registrations for new homes or subdivisions. So much for housing affordability.

The Government may at some stage say that the Torrens Assurance Fund can no longer guarantee the security of tenure over our freehold land and like the USA will insist that property owners buy annual Titling Insurance premiums from insurance companies. The value of the premium will be based on the market value of your property.  A boon for insurance companies and another burden to the struggling home owner and another impact on housing affordability.

Gladys, Dom and John cannot wait to blow a significant portion of the proceeds - $1 billion on Sydney Metropolitan Stadium.  A good spend? 

This woeful decision will impact on the kids of Kevin Anderson’s friends, and the kids and grand kids of Kevin Anderson’s National and Liberal party members, my kids, your kids.  They will suffer the consequences of this sale into the future when thousands extra are added to the cost of conveyances, plan registrations and more insurance premiums. The insult is, is that it is unlikely we’ll see the residual proceeds of this sale spent in rural NSW.  We’ve barely seen any of the proceeds of the $6 billion sale of the electricity assets promised by Kevin Anderson and Adam Marshall in June 2014 which is in the vicinity of $295 million per rural and regional electorate.  Our MP’s have failed to hold the Liberals to account or gleaned our fair share of the proceeds of sale, evidently too worried about their political ministerial and parliamentary secretary careers to stand up for something or cross the floor.  This government will lose the next election and will be replaced by another city-centric government and not a whimper of concern by our local National MP’s.  On this issue and indeed all of the asset sales our MP’s have been found wanting, ignorant to the long-term damage they have done to the economy and people of NSW.

What compounds this betrayal for me personally is that I gave 27 years to those parties but I have always believed, you have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. 

Mark Rodda, Tamworth