Crown corporation scandal threatens to derail budget pledges

Shadow Treasurer Daniel Mookhey described TAHE as a “self-imposed budget implosion” and came at the worst time for NSW.

Mr Mookhey said the Auditor General’s refusal to approve the state’s finances would send “a frightening message to international financial markets” that there was “something serious in the accounts of NSW”.

“The truth is, when the treasurer announces the budget on Thursday, we cannot believe a word of what he is saying when there are such serious doubts about TAHE and its impact on the budget,” he said. he declared.

New South Wales Opposition Leader Chris Minns.Credit:Dominique lorrimer

Senior officials, including Treasury Secretary Mike Pratt, will be grilled during a parliamentary inquiry into TAHE on Thursday, the same day as the budget update.

Auditor General Margaret Crawford was scheduled to appear, but has stepped down due to the need to delay signing the audits of the railway company and state finances.

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The Treasury and the Auditor General have disagreed for months on TAHE, that a Herald investigation found was put in place to inflate the NSW budget by billions of dollars.

Mr Mookhey said Thursday’s investigative hearing would look into “precisely what happened during a ‘mad rush’ over the weekend as the government ‘rushed to prevent TAHE from blow up the budget “.

Under the accounting rules, TAHE – which controls $ 40 billion in state rail assets, including trains and tracks – must show that it is truly independent from government and that it will make a profit. If it doesn’t, it could cost the budget billions of dollars a year.

However, in order to generate a profit, it has to charge an access fee to Sydney Trains and NSW Trains at a commercial rate, which will strain the state budget.

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