Taxpayers were paying almost $800,000 every year for Rann Government board appointments of “Labor mates” or people with a close association to the Labor Party.
“Mr Rann must explain publicly his reasons for continually appointing so many people with connections to the Labor Party to key Government boards and committees,” Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
“An exhaustive search of the 1,200 page Register of Government Boards and Committees for 30 June 2008 tabled in Parliament has revealed a long list of names, some of which are included in the attached table.
“The list includes many former Labor Members of Parliament and candidates such as Nick Bolkus, Greg Crafter, Frank Blevins, Rosemary Crowley, Carolyn Pickles, Anne Levy, Ron Roberts, Chris Schacht, Bob Hawke, Terry Groom, Martyn Evans, Geoff Buckland, Jeremy Moore, Moira Deslandes and Mary-Lou Corcoran.
“It is clear from the list that if you are a “Labor mate” or have a close association with the Rann Government or the Labor Party then your chances of appointment are much greater,” Mr Lucas said.
“Some individuals have actually received up to five separate appointments (Mary Patetsos, wife of former ALP Senator Nick Bolkus) and up to $88,000 per annum (Philip Bentley).
“The Rann Government’s two favourite “power couples” – Mary Patetsos and Nick Bolkus, and Margaret Wagstaff and Philip Bentley – are being paid a total of about $130,000 per annum for their appointments.
“The need for transparency in all of these issues is obvious when one considers that Nick Bolkus is also a lobbyist for a number of groups dealing with the Rann Government as well as being the Chair of Labor’s fundraising arm, SA Progressive Business Inc.
“Whilst some of the Rann Government appointments could be defended, it is clear that some of the appointments have little knowledge of or little connection with the Board to which they have been appointed.
“This is just another example of the Rann Government’s arrogance as it believes it can just do whatever it likes in relation to these appointments,” he said.