Racing NSW approached TAFE to buy Scone campus

Racing NSW had offered to buy the Scone TAFE campus six months before it was even listed for sale, a NSW parliamentary hearing was told today.

Are you saying we should accept it is just a coincidence? Greens MLC David Shoebridge asked TAFE managing director Steffen Faurby in Budget Estimates of the letter received from Racing NSW in July 2020.

The State Government put the Scone TAFE facility on the market in February with Estimates told on Monday that the reserve price had been set at less than what it cost to build more than 25 years ago.

The campus has been advertised for sale online with the agent describing the property as having “substantive well-presented improvements selling below replacement cost”.

The hearing was earlier told that Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee met with Racing NSW and property development company Trifalga in July and August 2020 to discuss TAFE matters.

Questioned by Labor MLC Courtney Houssos in Estimates, Mr Lee said he could not recall whether the sale of Scone TAFE was discussed.

I can’t remember discussing those to be honest with you, I can’t, Mr Lee said.I could have, but I can’t remember.

In reply to the question by Mr Shoebridge, Mr Faurby said: “The recommendation that we put forward was one that was based on the best use of that facility and the best way for us to ensure that we could continue to get the right composition of offerings.”

TAFE NSW told Estimates in March last year that there was no current plan to divest the Scone site”, just months before the approach from Racing NSW.