Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today a leaked confidential Cabinet submission signed before the last election by Premier Weatherill conflicted with his public statements about the total cost to taxpayers of the Rolling Stones concert at Adelaide Oval.
The leaked Cabinet submission signed by Mr Weatherill on 12 August 2013 included the recommendation that Cabinet note:
“An appropriation from the Department of Treasury and Finance of $1.25 million would be required to secure the performance with $1 million being a fee to secure the Rolling Stones opening performance and a further $250,000 to go to the SATC to promote the concert interstate in conjunction with the Promoter.”
The submission notes Mick Jagger would “record a piece to camera saying how much the Rolling Stones are looking forward to opening the iconic Adelaide Oval’ and that the SATC would try and get the Rolling Stones to visit iconic South Australian destinations which could be used to promote SA to the media.
However, in the lead up to the 2014 State election Mr Weatherill and other Ministers continually claimed publicly the total cost to taxpayers of the Rolling Stones concert was $450,000.
For example, on 20 November 2013, Mr Weatherill told 5AA:
“It’s $450,000 and it is something like a 10 to 1 return…”
Minister Bignell on 17 October 2013 when asked in Parliament if the taxpayer cost was $1 million said:
“No I can’t confirm that.”
“Taxpayers were already angry at paying a group of millionaires $450,000 to perform and they would be rightly furious if the cost was even more than that,” said Mr Lucas.
“It was clear to everyone that Mr Weatherill’s announcement of the Rolling Stones concert was designed to be a key component of the Government’s reelection strategy.
“In the last two years the Government has increased the Events attraction budget for SA and there is significant concern within the public sector at how that money is being spent in the period leading up to the next election and the Government’s secrecy and lack of accountability for spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars.
“Given this very significant leak of a Cabinet submission Mr Weatherill must come clean and explain the conflict between his public claim and the leaked Cabinet submission.”