The NSW opposition is pressing the government to reveal details of a Newcastle West land sale which, on paper, cost developer Doma just $10.
A land transfer document dated October 14, 2019, shows Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation transferred the Stewart Avenue site to Doma for the "consideration of $10.00".
Property data websites, including Pricefinder, also list the land sale at $10.
Labor says the land, where Doma is building Newcastle's largest office building, is valued at $2.8 million.
The state government has agreed to be the anchor tenant for the office building, which adjoins the Store site, also owned by Doma, and Newcastle Interchange.
Doma is run by Jure Domazet, whom Transport Minister Andrew Constance introduced as a "long-time uni mate" when he announced the Store site sale in 2018.
Neither the government nor Doma has revealed how much the company paid for the Store and Stewart Avenue sites.
HCCDC told the Newcastle Herald in November that the transactions were not a "straight land sale" and included a requirement for Doma to build the bus interchange now taking shape in Hunter Street.
Labor asked Planning Minister Rob Stokes about the Stewart Avenue land sale in a budget estimates hearing on Friday. Mr Stokes said he was not aware of the details of the transaction.
Shadow Planning Minister Adam Searle said the minister needed to investigate the sale and reveal what value the public had gained from the transaction.
"This deal raises serious questions about what the taxpayers received from this transaction, how much money was raised and what continuing financial obligations the state government has as a result of its anchor tenancy," Mr Searle said in a media statement.
Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp told the Newcastle Herald that taxpayers needed to know what the benefits of the land sale were.
"This is taxpayers' land. The government is trying to hide something. They got a good deal out of this - I don't know if they did or didn't - but tell the taxpayers.
"If they got a good deal for Newcastle, let us know. If they sold it for ten bucks, which on face value would be the indication on the transfer, why?
"If it's more than that, which I'm assuming it is, how much was it and why are they trying to hide it?
"This government continues to do everything in secrecy."
The Newcastle Heraldreported in November that a list of state land transactions provided by Property Minister Melinda Pavey's office showed Doma had paid HCCDC a total of $47 million for five CBD properties, but these transactions did not include the Store sites.
In response to questions about the Store deal, HCCDC reiterated its statement from last year.
"A condition of the multi-staged sale requires the proponent to deliver a bus and coach interchange at the site," a spokesperson said.
"A portion of the site will also accommodate public sector jobs.
"The sale provided a multi-million cost saving on infrastructure provision and ensured maximum public benefit for the local community."
Neither Transport for NSW nor HCCDC has disclosed the cash component of the transaction nor the estimated cost to Doma of building the bus interchange.
Doma's development general manager, Gavin Edgar, said the company had to pay to demolish buildings, remove contaminated material, remediate the site, undertake archaeological works and design and construct the interchange and hand it back to HCCDC at "no cost to the taxpayers".
"Thereafter we have to pay some more money to government and then get titles to the land and air-space rights to build further development rights," he said.
"This was after a three-stage open tender selection process with defined evaluation criteria that included a design competition component and certainty of delivery.
"It was run by HCCDC and had nothing to do with the Minister for Transport. It cost Doma millions of dollars."
Mr Edgar said the title transfer for a small portion of 12,000 square metre site had enabled Doma to place construction finance for the office building.
"This is a good news story, and Doma continues to invest in Newcastle and create jobs. This is the largest and most complex project in the city at the moment."
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