14 February 2019
The Northern Territory Treasurer has again refused to answer basic questions about the government’s $10.5 million investment into failed water company NT Beverages.
"I don’t believe we’ve asked Labor anything too difficult but they continue to flat out refuse to answer even the most basic questions," Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said.
"Yesterday we asked the Treasurer to explain how the Northern Territory Infrastructure Development Fund (NTIDF) invested $10.5 million of taxpayers’ money in NT Beverages given:
In 2016, several original directors resigned
The company was listed for sale in November 2016
Only one expression of interest was received, but that party later pulled out
In 2017, NT Beverages recorded a $6.5m loss and was $13.9m short of working capital to keep going.
"We also asked why did NTIDF invest $9.2m in February 2018, then invest more money in August 2018, then again in September 2018 just to pay wages. Clearly, the company was insolvent long before this point.
"How is it that over $10.5m of taxpayers’ money was invested in an insolvent company? Why did we pay ICG over $1.5m to make this terrible investment?
"The Treasurer would not answer and continued to run the line that it was all up to the so-called independent board. She also would not say when she was made aware of all the payments to the company.
"Today she dodged further basic questions about this issue and we’re wondering – what exactly is she hiding…r does she simply not know?