The public servant at the centre of the extraordinary valuation process for the Leppington Triangle that generated a result 10 times greater than the worth of the parcel of land is the focus of an investigation initiated by the Department of Infrastructure in what could become the biggest Public Service scandal since the 1990s.
There are multiple inquiries and investigations underway into the debacle that saw the Department of Infrastructure hand nearly $30 million to a Liberal donor for a parcel of land near Western Sydney Airport in 2018 when it was worth barely $3 million. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have been investigating the matter since July 10, after the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) became alarmed at what it had discovered in its audit and referred the matter to the police.
This was the first time the ANAO had ever referred a matter to police, and reflected that they had uncovered information "that couldn't be explained" and which "was suggestive that the Commonwealth may have been defrauded", according to Auditor-General Grant Hehir, speaking to an estimates hearing late last night. Hehir took the unprecedented step of personally contacting AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw, long before the audit itself was completed.