airport land

‘A bargain… in time’: McCormack says $33m airport land buy will pay off

PHOTO: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the $33 million paid for a parcel of farmland near the western Sydney airport will come to be seen as a bargain. CREDIT: KATE GERAGHTY

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack believes taxpayers got a bargain in spending $33 million to buy part of a dairy farm near the western Sydney airport that was later valued at $3 million.

His own department has launched a new investigation of the 2018 deal for the land known as the Leppington Triangle, after the auditor-general said officers hadn’t acted ethically and concealed information about the deal from their superiors.

The 12.3 hectares was owned by the billionaire Perich family’s Leppington Pastoral Company, which is now leasing it back from the government.

Its $30 million – plus $3 million GST – price tag was arrived at in a valuation done by a firm chosen by Leppington and was 22 times more per hectare than what the NSW government paid for its portion of the same land.