A senior State Government source has provided information that the Weatherill Government employed highly-paid consultants last year to consider privatising some SA Water assets said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
In evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee, Under Treasurer Brett Rowse refused to answer questions on the grounds the issue had gone to Cabinet and was covered by Cabinet confidentiality.
Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas:
“I have been informed that you have actually also done a scoping study on some assets with SA Water
Under Treasurer Brett Rowse:
“As I indicated, I am unable to talk about matters which have been part of cabinet consideration.”
However, Mr Rowse openly answered questions on consultants undertaking work for the Motor Accident Commission privatisation and the possible privatisation of HomeStart.
Mr Rowse indicated after the work investigating the possible privatisation of HomeStart the Weatherill Government had decided not to proceed.
He undertook to provide information on the name of the consultant, when they were appointed and the total cost.
“So if the Weatherill Labor Government had considered and rejected the possible privatisation of some SA Water assets then Mr Rowse could have advised the committee exactly as he did with the HomeStart issue,” said Mr Lucas.
“Given the clearly startled Mr Rowse refused to answer any questions and claimed Cabinet confidentiality on privatisating SA Water assets, it raises speculation whether the Weatherill Labor Government is still considering this option.
“Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis must now come clean and indicate which consultants they employed, when they were appointed and the total cost to taxpayers.
“Again Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis have been caught out saying one thing publicly whilst secretly spending taxpayers’ money investigating the completely opposite policy.”