Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today accused the Labor Government of massive waste of taxpayer money by continuing to fund a ‘ghost ministerial office’.
Mr Lucas said even though former Minister Bernard Finnigan resigned two months ago, the Labor Government has continued to waste money on a fully operational Ministerial office – even though there is no Minister in it.
“Minister Gago was asked about this wastage two weeks ago in Parliament and was unable to provide answers to questions about total costs being wasted and the number of staff involved.
“However, the latest confidential ministerial staff directory lists five highly paid staff still being employed in Mr Finnigan’s former office at Level 6, 45 Pirie Street.
“These include Nick Lombardi being paid about $130,000 (July 2010) to be Chief of Staff to a non-existent Minister.
“Whilst he is now listed as reporting to Ministers Gago and Conlon they already have equally highly paid Chiefs of Staff in their other offices!
Three other Ministerial Advisers earning about $93,000 each (July 2010) are also listed as being paid in the office.
“It is also possible other public servants at lower classifications are also being employed in the office because the ministerial staff directory doesn’t list all staff employed in the office.
“It should also be remembered that both Minister Gago and Minister Conlon have approximately 20 staff each employed in their existing ministerial offices.
“Mr Rann should now answer immediately what the total number of staff in his ‘ghost office’ is and what the total costs have been to keep it open.
“This is yet another example of Labor financial mismanagement and wastage, and will be especially galling to those South Australian families suffering from service cuts and massive increases in taxes and charges.”