Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today accused the Weatherill Labor Government of a massive ‘cover up’ as most Ministers refuse to answer questions about the number of highly-paid public service positions that had been created and abolished.
“In fact, 10 of 15 ministers have not provided answers to questions for 2010-11 and 7 of 15 ministers have not provided answers for 2009-10. Some of these questions were first asked more than two years ago.
“However, an analysis of those answers received shows the Labor Government was creating almost twice as many highly-paid public service positions as they abolished during these years.
“This analysis also ‘blows out of the water’ the Government’s claim that the majority of extra positions earning more than $100k revealed annually in the Auditor General’s report were actually just officers receiving pay rises which took them above the $100k level.
“In 2010-11 210 new positions were created whilst 113 were abolished. For 2009-10 195 new positions were created and 114 were abolished.”
For example the Department of Premier and Cabinet has advised that in 2009-10 no positions were abolished but the following 7 were created:
Director, Strategic Communications $158,875
Director, Thinking Adelaide Strategy $159,557
Director, Adelaide Thinkers in Residence $141,362
Director, Executive Office $141,362
Executive Director, Policy Coordination $195,732
Executive Officer $103,186
Project Manager $105,192
“This is a perfect example of the ‘lack of political will’ to tackle budgetary problems that Moody’s highlighted when they announced the rating downgrade from AAA to Aa1.
“How do the Premier and Government justify the need for some of those highly-paid new positions at a time when they are delivering massive deficits and massive increases in South Australia’s debt level?
“We clearly have ministers and chief executives arguing they are cutting certainly high-paid positions but sneaking ‘though the back door’ and creating almost twice as many new positions.
“How can the Government justify the creation of some of these positions such as the Director of Financial Turnaround ($225k), Director Thinking Adelaide Strategy and even more Directors of Communication at a time when cuts are being made to critical programs in hospitals and schools?
“This is yet another example of the misplaced priorities of the Premier and his Labor Government.
“It is clear the Premier and other ministers are refusing to answer these questions because they are embarrassed by some of the information that would be revealed.”