273 Ministerial staff and spin doctors

The number of Ministerial staff and spin doctors in the Weatherill Government is far greater than the 107 published in this week’s Government Gazette, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today. The true figure (including media monitoring staff) is 273, according to a leaked copy of the Government’s confidential Ministerial staff directory for December 2011.…

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Massive payout for Weatherill Deputy CE

Former Department of Premier and Cabinet Deputy Chief Executive Pauline Peel’s termination will cost taxpayers between $300,000 and $400,000. Evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee today revealed Ms Peel was entitled to a three or four month payout for early termination and then another three or four month payout for every unexpired…

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Labor’s $1.7 million budget blowouts

Massive budget blowouts of $1.3 million at the Art Gallery and $410,000 at the South Australian Museum have been confirmed by Department of Premier and Cabinet executives. Evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee from Arts & Cultural Affairs Executive Director Alex Reid confirmed $1.7 million was provided to the institutions last month…

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$600k wasted on schools now closed

$600,000 of Building the Education Revolution (BER) funding was wasted on two schools which have now closed, Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) executives have confirmed. DECD Chief Financial Officer Julieann Riedstra told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee $250,000 had been spent on new toilets and $50,000 on building refurbishment at Salt…

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Auditor-General may use ‘coercive powers’

An undertaking by the Auditor-General today to use his ‘coercive powers’ if necessary to uncover all costs associated with ‘Cartridgegate’ has been welcomed by Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas. Auditor-General Simon O’Neill told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee he was aware of a number of criticisms about the Government’s investigation into ‘Cartridgegate’, including:…

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Budget saving delays employment appeals

Budget saving decisions have led to significant delays in appeal hearings by public servants against allegedly unfair employment decisions, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today. “The Public Grievance Review Commission provides an avenue for an independent hearing of any claim by a public servant alleging nepotism, patronage or any other serious irregularity in an…

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70 Schools implicated in ‘Cartridgegate’

Department of Education CEO Keith Bartley today indicated that 70 schools had been implicated in the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal. In evidence to the Legislative Council’s Budget and Finance committee Mr Bartley confirmed some officers have been paying up to three times the normal rate for printer cartridges in exchange for gifts and benefits. Mr Bartley said…

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Treasury confirms 200% water price hike

Under Treasurer Brett Rowse has confirmed that water prices will increase by about 200 per cent in the period 2008 – 2013 to pay for the desalination plant and other water projects. Mr Rowse told the Adelaide Desalination Plant Select Committee that after an average 26.3 per cent increase this year and a similar increase…

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