Burdekin Park and Singleton TAFE to be sold?

Labor candidate for Upper Hunter by-election Jeff Drayton

LABOR warns the government will sell off public assets such as Burdekin Park and Singleton TAFE to housing developers along with other public lands throughout the Upper Hunter.

The warning came after the government’s release of their portal showing all public lands in NSW in an effort to encourage developers to buy them up and turn them into private use.

The list contains 2200 assets in the Upper Hunter electorate, including parks, clubs and cemeteries.

“Last week the government announced in line with their housing strategy, they would be putting public assets up for sale and they encouraged developers to take an interest in some of those state-owned assets obviously to privatise them to build some housing in some of that land,” Mr Drayton said.

“Some of the assets up for sale include Burdekin Park with the Cenotaph, Singleton TAFE campus, Singleton Historic Museum. We move up to Scone, there’s Murray Bain Oval in Scone, Muswellbrook TAFE, Quirindi Jockey Club, Jefferson Park’s sporting oval in Aberdeen and the Denman Cricket Oval and Denman Footbal Oval. You’ll find all of those assets on that portal and they certainly encourage people to purchase those assets,” he said.

“It’s just another example of the way the people of this Upper Hunter have been treated. It’s bad enough to not get any money back this way but now to try and cash in on the only assets we have left is certainly a bit rich but not a surprise from what we’ve seen coming from this government.

“The NSW Government coffers get $800 million a year from the Upper Hunter in mining royalties and now they want to take our parks and ovals too.

“Rather than fighting for our fair share, the National Party are selling off our community assets. We are supposed to be getting something back from the billions we send down to Sydney but now we’re being asked to give away more. 

“There are thousands of Upper Hunter properties listed that could be sold off. Nothing is safe when it comes to this privatisation hit list. TAFE campuses, footy fields, parks and clubs – even cemeteries – could all fall into the hands of private developers,” he said. 

Last week, NSW Housing Minister launched the NSW Government Housing 2041 strategy which recommended listing all government-owned property in NSW to encourage private investment. Upper Hunter properties listed on the Government Property Index portal include:

·      Burdekin Park in Singleton

·      Singleton TAFE campus

·      Singleton Historic Museum site

·      Murray Bain Oval in Scone

·      Cricket ovals and rugby league fields in Denman

·      Bennett Park in Dungog

·      Gloucester cemetery

·      Jefferson Park in Aberdeen

·      Simpson Park in Muswellbrook

·      Quirindi Jockey Club

Analysis of the portal shows the following breakdown of properties in the Upper Hunter electorate:

LGA

Total number of Government properties

Muswellbrook

424

Singleton

386

Dungog

285

Upper Hunter Shire

826

Liverpool Plains

585

Mid-Western Regional*

1902

Mid-Coast*

2241

*only part of these LGAs are in the Upper Hunter electorate.

For more information on where candidates stand: Voting 101: Upper Hunter by-election.

 

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