The State Liberals are calling on Premier Jay Weatherill to explain whether the Chief Executive of his Department, Kym Winter-Dewhirst, gave lucrative government contracts to a film company which had employed a close family member.
Local film production company 57 Films was used by Mr Weatherill on his recent trip to Paris to send high quality film back to South Australia for use on the Premier’s Facebook site and in local news services. It is understood 57 Films have also received other lucrative government contracts.
“Mr Weatherill needs to explain how much money has been paid to 57 Films in the last two years and why these contracts were awarded without going to competitive tender and whether he had approved that decision to award the contracts directly to 57 Films,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
It needs to be remembered that Mr Weatherill personally selected former Labor Party staffer Mr Winter-Dewhirst to be his Chief Executive and then gave him a $150,000 pay rise, so he must accept ultimate responsibility for his actions.
“In my view if Mr Winter-Dewhirst has awarded lucrative government contracts to a company which has employed a close family member then it is completely unacceptable,” said Mr Lucas.
“There has been widespread anger from other companies in South Australia who would like to at least be in a position to compete fairly for these lucrative government contracts.
“Taxpayers will be furious that the Premier of the State with the highest unemployment in the country is wasting their money on an outrageously expensive vanity exercise.”