Documents released under Freedom of Information had revealed some Rann Government Ministers had been making unreasonable and extravagant claims at taxpayers’ expense.
For example, these documents of expenses paid for by Ministerial credit cards show Treasurer Kevin Foley made the following claims for meals and late night (and early morning) drinking sessions in South Australia, interstate and overseas:
Venue City/Time Highlights
Whiskey Blue Club, owned by Cindy Crawford's husband Rande Gerber and frequented by A-List clientele (see overleaf) New York: 2 nights, 12:53am and 1:33am US$68 + US$34 tip – 50% tip US$63
Escobar Nightclub Adelaide: 12:10am Total cost $133, including 5 Mojito cocktails at $18/glass
Escobar Nightclub Adelaide: 12:45am Total drinks bill $127.50
Wildfire Restaurant Sydney $306 dinner for two, including $29 glass of Moet
Alphutte Restaurant Adelaide After dinner drinks cost $99.80, including $89.90 bottle of wine
“Mr Foley needs to explain publicly what Ministerial business he was conducting at 1:30am in the Whiskey Blue Club in New York, the names of the guests he was entertaining and why taxpayers needed to pay for his big tipping lifestyle (50 per cent),” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“Put simply, it appears Mr Foley is a generous man when it is at taxpayers’ expense.
“Mr Foley also needs to explain what Ministerial business he was conducting in the Adelaide CBD which justifies South Australian taxpayers paying for taxi expenses home, sometimes as late as 5:00am.
“Other Ministers like Rory McEwen have also made unreasonable claims, such as two bottles of 1997 Wynn’s at $90.75 per bottle at a dinner in March 2007.
“Interestingly, Mr McEwen also claimed the cost of half a scone at $0.50 on his Ministerial expense account.
“Reasonable use of Ministerial credit cards and expense claims has always been supported by former Liberal and Labor Governments.
“However, some of these expense claims are unreasonable and excessive, and it is another indication of the arrogance of the Rann Labor Government that they seem unconcerned about taxpayers’ views of government wastage.
“It is time for Mr Foley, and other Rann Government Ministers, to justify publicly the unreasonable use of taxpayers’ money for $100 bottles of wine, Mojito cocktails, $29 glasses of Moet and 50 per cent tipping.”
A brief note on Rande Gerber and Whiskey Blue:
Rande Gerber is married to former supermodel Cindy Crawford and is the founder of Gerber Group, which has a portfolio of over 30 bars and lounges, predominantly in the USA.
A-List clientele who frequent Gerber’s bars and lounges, beyond Kevin Foley, include Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johansson, George Clooney, Hugh Hefner and his Playboy Bunnies.
For further information please refer to http://www.gerberbars.com/#/gallery/
“The premiere hunting grounds for angular debutantes and the Wall Street players who love them, Whiskey Blue, at the W Hotel, has cropped up in bright cities across the country shilling its special blend of high-life sophistication and lounge-y hedonism. Plush leather divans invite patrons to engage in something a little more than sitting, while white-sleeved bartenders mix martinis and Cosmos from behind a mahogany and alabaster bar.”