Premier Weatherill is sadly out of touch in awarding a $25,420 pay increase to one of his personal spin doctors.
This week’s Government Gazette shows Mr Weatherill has given a 24.3 per cent pay increase to Media Adviser Jarrad Pilkington, taking his salary to $130,000.
Mr Weatherill has simply changed Mr Pilkington’s title to Senior Media Adviser whilst changing the title of Ms Bronwyn Hurrell to Premier’s Chief Media Adviser and giving her a $9,178 pay increase (7.6 per cent).
Mr Weatherill has also approved $11,000 pay increases to some other favoured Ministerial staff such as Danny Romeo (Attorney-General Rau’s Chief of Staff) and Peter Louca (Minister Snelling’s Chief of Staff).
“The Gazette also reveals Mr Weatherill has increased significantly the total cost of staff he is employing to write his speeches – this is in addition to all the media advisers he employs,” said Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas.
“Last year the Gazette showed Mr Weatherill employed one speech writer at a total cost of $104,000.
“This year’s Gazette shows he is now employing three separate speech writers (1.8 FTE) at a total cost of $194,000 – an 85.5 per cent increase in speech writing staff costs.
“Of course, the Liberal Party revealed last month Mr Weatherill was also employing a NSW-based consultant to write speeches for him at a cost of $98 per hour.
“South Australian families suffering from massive cuts in school and hospital services will be furious at Mr Weatherill’s misplaced priorities of massive pay rises for spin doctors and massive increases in his total speech writing costs.
“Mr Weatherill must also answer why he has agreed to the employment of Mr Peter Hoppo in Minister Piccolo’s office at a cost of $101,000 per year after he had been mysteriously removed from his position as Chief of Staff to Minister O’Brien.
“Mr Weatherill still hasn’t answered a number of questions in Parliament about Mr Hoppo’s removal, such as whether or not a termination payment had been paid to Mr Hoppo.”