Nishi building a beacon of Labor waste

Taxpayers have been lumped with a $150 million green lemon by the former Labor government’s reckless decision to lease Canberra’s Nishi building for the Department of Climate Change.

Senator for South Australia Anne Ruston said the deal was a beacon of Labor’s reckless spending and waste.

“In Senate Budget Estimates today it was revealed it would cost $150 million for the Government to get out of the lease – just as much as it would cost for it to stay,” Senator Ruston said.

“Labor effectively left taxpayers a $150 million bill for a lease taxpayers do not need.

“It’s symbolic of everything that went wrong under Labor – wasting uncounted millions of taxpayers’ dollars in a bumbling, ham-fisted attempt to demonstrate Labor’s green credentials without doing anything to actually address Australia’s environmental needs and priorities.

“Rent is considerably more than the average for buildings in Canberra and the lease runs for 15 years with no prospect of termination without a $150 million payout.”

Senator Ruston said the Abbott Government was reviewing the lease arrangements and exploring its options.

“In the months ahead we will ensure the defects in the building and the fit-out for the department are addressed by the developer,” she said.

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