A continuing series of leaks from within the Government and the public service is a clear indication of a Government and Ministers under pressure and a budget in crisis, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“Yesterday’s amazing revelation that Treasurer Foley was unaware that a key government agency that reports to him (the South Australian Government Financing Authority or SAFA) was considering a $50 million loan to the Land Management Corporation (LMC) is embarrassing,” Mr Lucas said.
“What was even more embarrassing for Mr Foley is that he was forced to apologise in Parliament yesterday because he had attacked Iain Evans for his question to him:
“But I do not believe what the Leader of the Opposition said is correct at all…”
Kevin Foley, Hansard, 8 June 2006
“Over recent weeks, government and public service circles have been leaking like a sieve, raising concerns about a budget in crisis and the Rann Government’s handling of it. Recent examples of embarrassing leaks to the Government include:
• LMC asking SAFA for a $50m loan to provide working capital and money to pay dividends to budget, and Mr Foley claims to be unaware of it
• Blowout of up to $600m in cost of Northern Expressway project
• Blowout of up to $200m in South Road transport projects
• Mr Foley’s meeting of April 21 with James Horne (former Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure CEO) where he told Dr Horne to sack senior officers and Dr Horne refused
• Mr Conlon stopping weekly meetings with senior Transport bureaucrats responsible for major capital works projects because he said ‘there was nothing to talk about’
“History shows that when government and public service circles start leaking to this extent there are significant concerns within the public service about the Ministers’ capacity to manage.
“When the Treasurer of the State has to be told by the Opposition that one of his own agencies is having to consider a $50m loan partly related to the Treasurer’s new dividend policy then it is a major cause for concern.
“These leaks confirm the Rann Government’s budget is in crisis and that Mr Rann and Mr Foley are spending the next three months working out how many of their election promises they will have to break.”