The Chief Executive of the Transport Department has confirmed in evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that the Rann Government spent almost $100,000 of taxpayer’s money on a ‘Tram Welcome Party’.
This was a disgraceful waste of money at a time when there are hundreds of other priorities more deserving of this funding.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council, Rob Lucas, said today that Mr Jim Hallion revealed that $99,500 was spent on the official launch of Minister Conlon’s tram, comprising:
• Venue set-up for opening function – $31,000 (including marquee, flooring, sound, vision, lighting and catering)
• Safety and security – $16,000
• Event management – $19,000
• Videographer/photographer – $2,000
• Merchandise – $17,000 (including showbags and coasters)
• Marketing – $5,000
• Advertising – $7,500
• Grant to Lions Arts Centre – $2,000
This outrageous waste of money should be contrasted with the assurance given by Executive Director of the Office of Major Projects and Infrastructure, Rod Hook, to the Budget and Finance Committee (8 October 2007) that the total expenditure for the party would be “a modest amount.”
“It is now widely believed that Mr Conlon’s handling of the transport portfolio has been an unmitigated disaster and he must now justify why he has wasted $100,000 on a party,” Mr Lucas said.
“Mr Conlon should have provided all details of this spending (were ‘Fix it Pat’ badges included in the showbags?!), and thus the Liberal Party will today lodge Freedom of Information requests for all documents relating to this issue.
“This is yet another example of an arrogant Government and Minister which is increasingly out of touch with the priorities of South Australian families.”