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South Australia Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas

Overseas Trip For Retiring Public Servant

Victor P Taffa

Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today called on Premier Weatherill to justify why taxpayers had paid for an overseas trip for a senior public servant whose position had been abolished and was about to take a separation package.

Transport Chief Executive Rod Hook told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee taxpayers had paid $23,316 to send the Director of the Office for Racing on an overseas trip even though his position had been abolished.

Mr. Hook confirmed that not only had the Director’s position been abolished, but that this senior officer had indicated he would accept a significant targeted separation package this year to leave the public service.

“It seems incomprehensible that Premier Weatherill and Minister Kenyon would think it is a good way to spend $23,316 when so many other cuts to critical programs in priority areas like health and education are occurring.” Mr. Lucas said.

In other evidence to the Committee:

  • No estimate had been made of the costs of upgrading sport facilities for a Commonwealth Games bid prior to the Premier indicating he had ordered officials to flesh out plans for a bid.
  • If a Commonwealth Games bid was successful then the AFL and SACA would lose access to the Adelaide Oval for at least the period of the Games.
  • Only $18 Million of the Commonwealth’s supposed Adelaide Oval grant of $30 Million was being used on the actual Oval project.
  • 574 FTE jobs are being cut from the department without any impact on the quality and delivery of services.
  • Possible charges against one officer implicated in ‘Cartridgegate’ have been referred to SAPOL and two other officers are still being investigated.

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