The Rann Government should be held accountable publicly for the level of funding provided to major events.
Chief Executive of Tourism SA, Andrew McEvoy, today told the Legislative Council’s Budget and Finance Committee that ‘commercial confidentiality’ might prevent release of the details of government funding.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today that Mr McEvoy had been asked to provide details of total taxpayer funding for the Tour Down Under event held in January this year and also for the details of the three year consultancy contract signed with Mike Turtur’s company, Bike Sports Australia.
“The Rann Government has to be held accountable publicly for the level of taxpayer funding for this event and the public interest far outweighs any notion of competition for major events and ‘commercial confidentiality,’” Mr Lucas said.
“Figures for the total funding cost for the Formula One Grand Prix are reported publicly in Victoria and the Victorian Government is required to defend publicly the value to their state of the taxpayer subsidy to their state.
“I believe the Tour Down Under event has been a terrific event in South Australia and was originally started by the former Liberal Government, but this doesn’t mean that governments should not be held accountable publicly for the level of taxpayer funding.
“If other governments can be held accountable publicly for taxpayer funding of major events, the Rann Government should also be held accountable,” he said.
In other evidence to the Committee, Mr McEvoy confirmed that the General Manager of Events SA, Leanne Grantham, had not had her contract renewed and had been paid out for the last three months of her contract when agreement couldn’t be reached on an alternative position. Mr McEvoy denied that the Minister for Tourism, Jane Lomax-Smith, had expressed a view to him that there should be a change in that position.