North-South nightmare lingers as Labor refuses to pay out millions

Wednesday 11 January, 2023

A former business owner who sheltered domestic violence victims and the homeless – but lost his property seven weeks ago after it was acquired for the North-South Corridor – is now himself struggling to make ends meet.

The Malinauskas Labor Government acquired a Glandore property, where Safer Places once thrived, in late November but is yet to pay a large sum of money to its former owner for the transaction.

Instead, the former owner has been left in the lurch and unable to earn an income despite still paying off a hefty loan for the property and other associated costs.

Leader of the Opposition, David Speirs, described Peter Malinauskas as “heartless” for delaying the acquisition payout over Christmas and into 2023.

“This former business owner is a good person who was helping South Australia’s most vulnerable, but the way Peter Malinauskas has treated him is nothing short of disgraceful and disrespectful,” Mr Speirs said.

“We have a person here who followed the rules, did everything that was asked of him without complaint, yet when it comes to payment time Peter Malinauskas appears to be happy to hold back the funds.

“Christmas would have been such a difficult time for this family with no income – and that’s not even considering the cost of living crisis facing South Australians.

“The added pressure of not knowing if you’ll have enough money to buy bread or milk would be stomach-churning.”

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, said the only thing the Malinauskas Labor Government has delivered so far when it comes to the North-South Corridor is the promise to destroy more homes and businesses and a huge cost blowout.

“We know Peter Malinauskas’ new project design will cost taxpayers an extra $5.5 billion, so maybe he’s holding back every cent meant for payouts because he’s nervous about the enormous financial blowout,” Mr Tarzia said.

“There are also 125 additional properties that will be bulldozed as part of Peter Malinauskas’ new North-South Corridor plan.

“Those impacted would be terrified to learn they may not have a place to live – or receive any compensation for months on end – once they are booted from their homes or businesses.

“Any person impacted by acquisition for this project needs to be supported properly. The situation facing this former business owner is Peter Malinauskas adding insult to injury.”