The Rann Labor Government was planning to spend more than $50 million on consultants and ‘in house’ expertise just to manage the process of public-private partnerships (PPP) for schools, prisons and the Marjorie Jackson-Nelson (MJN) hospital.
“This proposed spending is clearly excessive and an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money and yet another example of Mike Rann’s financial mismanagement,” Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said.
“The Government is now claiming it will spend $17 million on consultants for the MJN hospital alone; however, earlier information given to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee indicated spending on consultants would be $136 million.
“The Government has now indicated that much of this cost will now be included as part of the annual PPP lease payments to the private sector partners.
“In further information provided to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee, Under Treasurer Jim Wright revealed that in the next four years the total cost of consultants and ‘in house’ experts for all PPPs would be $41 million and that figure only includes an estimate of $12 million for consultants for the MJN.
“The Rann Government’s website for the MJN hospital shows they have already appointed 13 separate consultants, including legal, financial and engineering advisers as well as a flight path adviser.”
The following table shows the firms already appointed:
Commercial and Financial Services – Ernst and Young
Project Management Advisory Services – Arup Pty Ltd
Engineering – Umow Lai and Associates Pty Ltd
Security Risk Assessment – Sinclair Knight Merz
Legal advice to the Crown Solicitor – Clayton Utz
Facilities Management – Milliken Berson Madden Pty Ltd
Quantity Surveying Advisory Services – Rider Levett Bucknall
Health Planning Services – Aurora Pty Ltd
Urban Planning Services – URPS Pty Ltd
Flight Path Adviser – AMBIDJI Pty Ltd
Surveying Services – Alexander Symonds Pty Ltd
Probity Adviser Services – Pitcher Partners Pty Ltd
Architectural Services – Aurora Project Pty Ltd with Rice Daubney
“Mr Rann needs to explain to our teachers, nurses and families of children with disabilities why he has chosen to spend more than $50 million on consultants and ‘in house’ experts to manage his PPPs,” Mr Lucas said.
“Surely there are much higher priorities for spending more than $50 million.
“Mr Rann should remember that, prior to the 2002 election, he promised to slash spending on consultants and redirect it towards such areas as health and education. In fact, he went on to promise that his Labor Government would limit spending on consultants to no more than $20 million per year.
“In fact, Mr Rann and Treasurer Kevin Foley were very critical of the former Liberal Government when it spent about $100 million – whilst earning more than $5 billion for South Australia – from the electricity privatisation.
“Mr Rann’s hypocrisy on this issue is self-evident as he is now spending more than $50 million as part of spending more than $2 billion for three projects!”