Families on waiting lists for surgery in our hospitals would be outraged when they see the thousands of taxpayer dollars being wasted on lunches and dinners for public servants earning more than $300,000 per annum.
“Some of these expenses are outrageous, unreasonable and unacceptable,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“However, the problem we have in South Australia is that these public servants are just following the lead of Premier Rann, Treasurer Foley and other Ministers.
“When you have a Treasurer and Ministers who think it is okay for taxpayers to pay $29 for a glass of Moet, $100 for a bottle of wine, and hundreds of dollars for cocktails in the early hours of the morning at nightclubs all around the world, then it is perhaps no wonder public servants think taxpayers should pay all these expenses.
“Dr Tony Sherbon, Health Department CEO, should explain to South Australians the reasons for some of these extravagant claims and, in particular, the names of some of the people being entertained at taxpayers’ expense.
“In particular, Dr Sherbon should explain to South Australians why taxpayers need to pay $1600 for a planning strategy lunch at the Botanic for his senior executive team from the Health Department.
“He should also explain why taxpayers need to pay $84 for a lunch at Jasmin Restaurant with another highly paid public servant, Justice Department CEO Jerome Maguire.
“Surely any meeting with another CEO could be conducted in one of their offices without taxpayers being left to pay for lunch.
“One interesting aspect from these claims is that it appears increasingly that CEOs are being used by Ministers to pick up the cost of lunches attended by Ministers.
“It is clear that Ministers are using this device or loophole to try to avoid scrutiny of the annual Freedom of Information application I have been lodging on their Ministerial expense claims.
“We are now in the process of lodging FOI requests for all CEOs of all major departments to see how widespread this practice has become.”