15/05/2017 - 14:26

McGowan probes Barnett government spending

15/05/2017 - 14:26

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Perth businessman John Langoulant has been appointed to lead the state government’s commission of inquiry into the Barnett government’s spending on 26 projects over the past eight years.

John Langoulant will lead the state government's commission of inquiry. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Perth businessman John Langoulant has been appointed to lead the state government’s commission of inquiry into the Barnett government’s spending on 26 projects over the past eight years.

Mr Langoulant, who was also Western Australia’s under-treasurer from 1995 to 2004, will head the special inquiry and produce a final report by the end of October, investigating projects such as the Muja power station refurbishment, IT cost overruns at the Fiona Stanley Hospital, and the long-delayed Perth Children’s Hospital.

The terms of reference for the inquiry, which were released by Premier Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt today, will seek to shine a light on the decision-making processes, risks, and contract terms of the 26 projects, as well as recommending safeguards for future projects.

Mr McGowan said taxpayers had a right to know where their money went.

“The Liberals and Nationals refused to answer simple questions about how taxpayers’ money was being spent,” he said.

“They oversaw massive cost blowouts on projects like the Muja power station and the Serco contract at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

“The commission of inquiry will bring a high level of scrutiny, transparency and accountability to a series of decisions and projects of the former government.”

Mr Wyatt said Mr Langoulant’s experience in both the public and private sectors meant he was well placed to conduct the review.

“Collectively, these decisions of the former Liberal National government have contributed to the state’s significant deficit and debt position,” he said.

“Western Australian’s have a right to know how the state got into this situation because every citizen will, unfortunately, bear the consequences of the financial repair.”

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