The CEO of the Department for Education and Children’s Services had confirmed the Rann Government was implementing “budget savings” of $120 million over the budget forward estimates period.
“Mr Chris Robinson told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that savings required this year were $10 million, increasing to annual savings of $49 million in 2012-13, giving a total of $119.35 million over the four years,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“Mr Robinson indicated that only the details of the first $10 million cut had been released and that the remaining cuts had not yet been decided or announced by the Rann Government.”
Hon R Lucas: “Can we clarify that, basically, you are looking at a $10 million savings task for this financial year and, when one aggregates the savings over the forward estimates period, you are going to have to achieve about $120 million in savings over the forward estimates period, starting off at $10 million this year but eventually reaching $49 million in 2012-13?
Mr C Robinson: “Yes – $119.35 million.”
(Hansard, Budget and Finance Committee, 31-08-2009)
“These cuts will be in addition to the Education Department’s share of the as yet unspecified $750 million in cuts to be announced after the 2010 state election,” Mr Lucas said.
“Whilst the Rann Government is implementing these cuts, Mr Robinson was unable to answer a question as to whether the Rann Government was paying for head and shoulder massages for some staff in the Education Department’s central office.
“If Mr Robinson confirms that massages are being provide to some central office staff, then parents and teachers will be very angry at the Rann Government’s priorities.
“The Budget and Finance Committee has already established that the Rann Government has paid for head/neck massages for staff in agencies like the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust.”
Other evidence to the Committee included:
• There was still almost $200 million in backlog maintenance in schools;
• Claim that it was “unavoidable” that some of the Rudd millions would be spent on buildings in schools which would close in coming years;
• Rann Government had only spent $6.7 million of the promised new investment of $82 million in Education Works (stage two); and,
• Treasury had to answer why the Rann Government chose to give the “Super Schools” contract to the private sector even though it was $9 million more than the public sector build alternative.