Labor’s $1.7 million budget blowouts

Massive budget blowouts of $1.3 million at the Art Gallery and $410,000 at the South Australian Museum have been confirmed by Department of Premier and Cabinet executives. Evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee from Arts & Cultural Affairs Executive Director Alex Reid confirmed $1.7 million was provided to the institutions last month…

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$600k wasted on schools now closed

$600,000 of Building the Education Revolution (BER) funding was wasted on two schools which have now closed, Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) executives have confirmed. DECD Chief Financial Officer Julieann Riedstra told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee $250,000 had been spent on new toilets and $50,000 on building refurbishment at Salt…

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Auditor-General may use ‘coercive powers’

An undertaking by the Auditor-General today to use his ‘coercive powers’ if necessary to uncover all costs associated with ‘Cartridgegate’ has been welcomed by Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas. Auditor-General Simon O’Neill told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee he was aware of a number of criticisms about the Government’s investigation into ‘Cartridgegate’, including:…

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Supply Bill

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:37): I rise to support the formality of the second reading of the Supply Bill, but in doing so want to have a look at some of the facts in relation to what are the crises confronting the state in terms of its financial management and look at some of the…

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Budget saving delays employment appeals

Budget saving decisions have led to significant delays in appeal hearings by public servants against allegedly unfair employment decisions, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today. “The Public Grievance Review Commission provides an avenue for an independent hearing of any claim by a public servant alleging nepotism, patronage or any other serious irregularity in an…

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70 Schools implicated in ‘Cartridgegate’

Department of Education CEO Keith Bartley today indicated that 70 schools had been implicated in the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal. In evidence to the Legislative Council’s Budget and Finance committee Mr Bartley confirmed some officers have been paying up to three times the normal rate for printer cartridges in exchange for gifts and benefits. Mr Bartley said…

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Treasury confirms 200% water price hike

Under Treasurer Brett Rowse has confirmed that water prices will increase by about 200 per cent in the period 2008 – 2013 to pay for the desalination plant and other water projects. Mr Rowse told the Adelaide Desalination Plant Select Committee that after an average 26.3 per cent increase this year and a similar increase…

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WHS Regulatory Impact Statement urgently required

A damning report of the impact of Labor’s controversial work, health and safety laws commissioned by the Victorian Government is a serious warning to South Australian small businesses that the Weatherill Government must not ignore. The PricewaterhouseCoopers report, released today, shows there will be a $3.44 billion cost over five years to Victorian businesses, with…

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O’Brien embarrassed by ‘Cartridgegate’ evidence

Finance Minister O’Brien must publicly explain why he tried to keep secret the extent of Treasury officers’ involvement in ‘Cartridge-gate following Under Treasurer Brett Rowse’s damning evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee. Mr Rowse confirmed eight Treasury officers had been identified as buying printer cartridges (some at inflated prices) from suspect companies…

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Financial markets have assumed Labor will lose AAA

Financial markets are already charging higher interest rates on government debt consistent with a loss of South Australia’s AAA credit rating, Under Treasurer Brett Rowse confirmed today. Mr Rowse told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that, since late last year, financial markets had made decisions on the assumption South Australia’s AAA rating would…

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Minister refuses to reveal unionist’s salary

Shadow Industrial Relations Minister Rob Lucas today condemned Industrial Relations Minister Russell Wortley for refusing to reveal how much a prominent unionist employed in his office was being paid. In February this year Mr Wortley employed Jimmy Watson, a high profile union organiser in the LHMU, as an industrial relations adviser in his office. “Taxypayers…

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Ombudsman decision embarrasses Weatherill Government

The Weatherill Labor Government has been embarrassed by a State Ombudsman decision demanding details of payments to a senior adviser be released. The Liberal Party submitted a Freedom of Information application in November last year relating to any taxpayer-funded payout of leave and other entitlements for Premier Weatherill’s Senior Adviser (and former Chief of Staff…

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Was ‘Cartridgegate’ referred to the DPP or not?

Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today called on the Weatherill Government to clarify whether matters relating to the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal were referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The call follows what appears to be contradictory evidence from DPP Stephen Pallaras and Police Commissioner Mal Hyde about widespread abuse relating to the purchases of printer…

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