Premier Rann had been caught out trying to hide a further massive increase in ‘Spin Doctors’ and other Ministerial office staff.
In fact, the total number of Rann Government ‘Spin Doctors’ and other Ministerial office staff had increased so rapidly it appeared they were breeding like flies.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today that Mike Rann was wasting about $40 million over four years with this explosion in the number of staff employed in Ministerial offices.
“The total number of staff now employed in 15 Ministerial offices as at 1 October 2007 was a ridiculous 294 compared with only 191 under the former Liberal Government in early 2002,” Mr Lucas said.
“Put simply, this means that Mr Rann is employing 103 more ‘Spin Doctors’ and other staff – an increase of almost 55 per cent. This is in stark contrast to the actions of Prime Minister Rudd who has just announced a 30 per cent cut in Ministerial staff.”
Mr Lucas said the total number of current staff employed by the Rann Government has only been revealed after a three month battle under Freedom of Information (FoI) with 15 separate Ministerial offices.
This FoI battle was made necessary because Mr Rann continues to refuse to answer questions in Parliament and the Rann Government has now manipulated the content of the ‘Ministers Directory,’ which previously listed all Ministerial staff. However, the ‘Ministers Directory’ now lists only less than half of the staff in Ministers’ offices for some strange reason!
“In fact, in the last year since the Government’s change to the detail in the ‘Ministers Directory,’ there has been a further increase of an extra 19 staff.
“This extraordinary increase in personal minders is a disgraceful waste of taxpayer dollars.”
At a conservative estimated cost of $90,000 per staff member (with on costs), an extra 103 staff members cost about an extra $10 million per year or $40 million over four years.
“At a time when South Australian families are crying out for extra support for mental health programs, and for helping children with disabilities, Mr Rann is content to waste $40 million on extra Ministerial staff numbers ballooning out of control.
“This is yet another example of an arrogant Premier and Government which is increasingly out of touch with the priorities of South Australian families.”