NSW Set to Hive off More Public Buildings

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Thursday, July 11th, 2013
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As it battles to regain control of debt and restore public finances, the New South Wales government is set to hive off a second tranche of public owned property assets.

Following the sale of seven government buildings earlier this year for $405 million, Acting Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance says four more on the market.

These include the Lands Building, currently occupied by Planning NSW, the Education Building in Bridge Street, the Ausgrid Building at 570 George Street and vacant land in Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park.

In a statement, Constance says the latest moves reflect the government’s commitment to owning only assets which support core government service provisions.

“Preliminary due diligence is currently underway to assess all possible options that will optimise the value for the Government to reinvest the funds back into boosting service delivery,” he says.

The sales come as the state government battles to contain the public sector’s debt level, which now sits at more than $40 billion and is expected to balloon to around $55 billion by 2014/15. Most of the funds from the sale of the first tranche of buildings are being directed toward accelerating new residential construction under the Housing Affordability Fund.

Constance says the government will consult a number of advisers regarding the sale.

He says strong interest is expected, while heritage and planning controls will ensure key attributes of the Lands and Education buildings are maintained.

“The State expects to attract interest from a broad spectrum of local and international investors; given the opportunities the properties offer to different markets,” Constance says.

“The sandstone buildings in Bridge Street have the potential for a range of uses – both are located centrally in the business district, close to Circular Quay and all transport services.”

An expression of interest will be issued later this year once due diligence processes are complete.

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