Premier Rann and senior Ministers have refused for more than three years to provide details of spending on overseas trips, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today
“Parliamentary questions first asked of Mr Rann and some Ministers in January 2003 have not been answered and remain on the Parliamentary Notice Paper,” Mr Lucas said today.
“Subsequent questions asked in 2004 and 2005 on overseas travel also have not been answered.
“As a result of the Rann Government’s refusal to answer questions, the Liberal Party submitted Freedom of Information (FOI) applications to all Ministers in November 2005 for details of all spending on travel, accommodation and entertainment.
“Four months later, the Rann Government has refused to provide answers to the FOI applications in relation to Mr Rann and six other key Ministers such as Pat Conlon and John Hill. Also, in some cases, only partial information has been provided. For example, there’s no answer from the Department of Treasury and Finance in relation to Treasury funds spent on Kevin Foley’s many overseas trips.
“There is one obvious conclusion from all of this stonewalling – Mr Rann and his Ministers have something to hide and don’t want it to come out until after the election!
“Whilst only limited information has been provided under FOI, it does reveal some very interesting facts:
• Paul Holloway spent $67,000 in 2005 alone (and more than $120,000 in two years) on travel, accommodation and entertainment
• Michael Atkinson spent more than $60,000 in three years on travel, accommodation and entertainment
• Mr Rann’s staff member and Labor candidate Justin Jarvis had a $240 ticket to a cricket Test Match in Chennai, India paid for by taxpayers
• Whilst Jane Lomax-Smith has previously stated she did not use a Ministerial Credit Card unlike other Ministers, in fact she presented all her expenses to her Department and was reimbursed by the Department. For example, she even presented a Coles supermarket lunch receipt for $10.35 from Mount Gambier to have it paid for by taxpayers! It is clear that Ms Lomax-Smith so far has had the best of all worlds – when the media seek details of Ministerial credit card expenditure under FOI she is listed as zero expenditure, yet taxpayers still pay and even unsuspecting Coles supermarket assistants don’t realise taxpayers are paying!
“Sadly for taxpayers, all the details of Mr Rann, Mr Foley and Mr Conlon’s expenditure won’t be released until after the election.
“I am sure they are smiling at that.”