The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

Media Releases

RANN SPENDS $85,000 TO SEND PUBLIC SERVANTS TO CONFERENCE

Monday, 21 February 2005

Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas says it was hypocritical for the Rann Government to criticise a public servant for attending an interstate conference at a cost of $3500 when Mike Rann spent $85,000 to send public servants to a conference in Adelaide.

“In December 2002 the Rann Government actually hosted a national conference on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) at the 5-star Hilton Hotel in Adelaide,” Mr Lucas said today.

“Most state government departments and agencies sent public servants to the PPP conference, with some agencies paying as much as $3298 each for delegates just to attend the conference. The average cost for officers to attend was $2418 per delegate.

“It is interesting to note that after three years the Rann Government has only been able to deliver partly one modest-sized PPP project relating to country police stations.

“The Rann Government’s spin doctors and Minister Holloway have also now been caught out on their claims that a public servant had spent $3595 for two nights at the supposedly 6-star Palazzo Versace hotel in Queensland.

“Attorney-General Michael Atkinson also joined in the attack by saying the funds were used by public servants to ‘pamper themselves and their mates’.

“The actual copy of the tax invoice for $3595 (attached) shows that the cheque was only for the conference and the cheque was actually paid to the conference organiser – the Institute for International Research (IIR Pty Ltd) – and not to the Palazzo Versace.

“It is clear that Mr Holloway and the Rann Government’s spin doctors are not overly concerned about facts getting in the way of a good story.

“Given this criticism by the Rann Government, the Liberal Party is now in the process of lodging Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and questions on notice for details and costs of the many other examples where Mike Rann and his Ministers have sent delegates to similar national conferences.”
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