ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says Dickson land swap for ‘social housing’, not revenue

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has defended the controversial Dickson land swap with the union-linked Tradies Club, saying the deal was sealed to provide social housing and was “not meant to generate revenue”.

Mr Barr’s government is facing a Legislative Assembly committee inquiry into an audit report that last month revealed the deal gave the CFMEU-linked club significant concessions worth up to $2.6 million.

The audit revealed those concessions for the club to buy the government-owned Block 30, Section 34, Dickson on “favourable terms”, amounted to changing the original proposal to a direct sale.

The tender was originally for a straight-forward sale, but contractual changes ultimately saw the club sell two of its blocks in Section 72, Dickson to government, one for $3.5 million and the other for $45,000, in return buying the government-owned carpark outside the club for $3.9 million.

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