The announcement by Kaufland that it is exiting Australia raises a number of questions for the Andrews Labor Government.
Only a few months ago Daniel Andrews trumpeted attracting the company's headquarters to Victoria and boasted the creation of 1500 jobs.
To attract Kaufland, the Government rolled out the red carpet to assist the company with a special planning panel. Such a panel is highly unusual for a single company.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Planning Minister Richard Wynne must now answer serious questions about the Kaufland deal.
- How much taxpayer money has the government spent delivering this planning armchair ride to Kaufland?
- Was any Victorian taxpayer money spent in direct payments to Kaufland or its associates to come to Victoria?
- Will the German multinational pay any money back to the Victorian taxpayer that it received?
- What guarantees did the government seek and receive that Kaufland would operate in Victoria?
- What’s going to happen to these sites, what’s happening to the workers building these stores and distribution centre?
- How much were the special panel members paid?
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Economic Development, Louise Staley:
“We’ve got workers being laid off at the West Gate Tunnel site because the Andrews Labor Government hasn’t fixed a contaminated soil problem it’s known about for years, and now workers building Kaufland stores and warehouses are left in limbo because Kaufland has walked away.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Local Government, Tim Smith:
“Daniel Andrews and Richard Wynne have wasted hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions of taxpayer dollars giving unfair privileges to a German multinational to circumvent the planning process that has resulted in complete failure.
“Daniel Andrews should make this German multinational that was given such a dream run with an unprecedented fast track of its planning applications, pay this money back to the Victorian taxpayer.”
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