Premier Rann and Treasurer Foley had refused for two years to answer questions in Parliament about frequent flyer points collected from travel by Rann Government Ministers.
“Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws have revealed that Mr Rann and Mr Foley have had at least 44 separate overseas trips in the last seven years as well as countless interstate trips earning millions of frequent flyer points,” Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
“The total cost of just the overseas trips was almost $1.9 million including the cost of accommodation and staff travel.”
Mr Lucas said Federal Labor Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner had admitted federal politicians were redeeming frequent flyer points for personal use. In addition, loyalty scheme expert Clifford Reichlin was quoted as saying airline points were almost as good as cash as they can be exchanged for ‘vouchers, holidays, travel or goods’.
“For two years now, Mr Rann, Mr Foley and the overwhelming majority of Rann Government Ministers have refused to answer the following question on the Parliamentary notice paper:
“Since March 2002 –
1. How many frequent flyer points has the Minister accumulated from any taxpayer
2. Has the Minister used frequent flyer points accumulated from any taxpayer funded travel
for travel by the Minister or any other person?
(a) Will the Minister provide details of any such travel undertaken by the Minister?
(b) Will the Minister provide details of any travel undertaken by any other person?”
“Eleven out of 15 Rann Government Ministers have so far refused to provide any answers to these questions and some of the replies received only provide partial answers,” he said.
“Mr Rann should note that in the Federal Parliament all federal members are requested each year to provide details of all frequent flyer points collected on official travel and whether any points had been released for official travel. This information is then included in an annual report which is tabled in Parliament.
“This is just another example of the arrogance of Mr Rann and Mr Foley who obviously don’t believe they should be held accountable publicly in the same way that Federal Members are required to be kept accountable.
“Mr Rann made many promises prior to his election about openness and accountability so now he needs to justify publicly why he has refused to answer these questions on frequent flyer points.
“If there is nothing to hide, then Mr Rann should have no problems in releasing the answers!”