Tasmania Shadow Attorney General Vanessa Goodwin
BARTLETT MISLEADS ON JOHNSTON PAYOUT
Victor P Taffa
Tasmania Shadow Attorney General Vanessa Goodwin has revealed that Tasmania Premier David Bartlett has misled the Tasmanian public over the circumstances surrounding the payout to the former Police Commissioner.
“While given the circumstances the Tasmanian Liberals do not oppose Mr. Jack Johnston receiving an entitlement in lieu of the remainder of his contract, the nature of any payment of taxpayers’ money must be transparently disclosed. We now know that this has not been the case.” Shadow Attorney-General Vanessa Goodwin said.
In announcing the payment to Mr. Johnston yesterday, Mr. Bartlett said: “Mr. Johnston will also receive a payment of 75% of his annual remuneration of $244,899 p.a. plus other entitlements, in line with his contractual entitlements.” (David Bartlett, media release, 1 February). However, according to newspaper reports today, Mr. Johnston’s contract states that he is not entitled to any such payment if he voluntarily resigns, rather than being terminated.
It is also reported that a spokeswoman for the Premier has confirmed that “the payment is part of a negotiated settlement, as opposed to an entitlement.”
It was therefore an ex gratia payment.
In a desperate attempt to try and put the Police Commissioner debacle behind him, Prermier Bartlett appears to have deliberately tried to cover up the true facts surrounding Mr. Johnston’s departure and payout.
Just like with the aborted appointment of Richard McCreadie, he has misled the public, rather than put the truth on the table. What Mr Bartlett has proved with this action is that a leopard doesn’t change its spots.
While Tasmania Premier David Bartlett is working diligently it would appear that the longer that the Government stays in office the headaches will mount and scandals will continue to persist.