Wayne Sturge on the offensive

Minister in the Office of the Attorney General (AG) Stuart Young is defending the contribution of Rural Development and Local Government Minister Franklin Khan on the One Alexandra Place building.

Khan called the leasing and outfitting of the building as “scandalous” during his contribution in the senate on Tuesday, saying over the last five years the unoccupied building has cost tax payers $116.69 million in rent and outfitting and design.

However, opposition senator Wayne Sturge took issue with the contribution, forcing Young to rebut, saying there was nothing nefarious with anyone renting an unoccupied property and outfitting it to their needs.

“What the government takes issue with is the contracts that were awarded for the outfitting and design, and the manner in which the tendering process was handled,” he said.

Khan had said an original tender of $23 million was submitted for outfitting and design of the building but later on a higher bid of over $70 million won the contract, forcing the Permanent Secretary to intervene and halt the payment.

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