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Govt breaks promise to stop $2m being spent on public art at NRAH

The Weatherill Labor Government is still spending $2 million on public art at the NRAH whilst at the same time the budget has blown out by more than $600 million.

This is yet another example of the waste and financial mismanagement of the Weatherill Government which has led to record deficits and debt.


Evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee by Peter Salveson representing NRAH builder Hansen Yuncken confirmed they were continuing to spend at least $2 million on public art at the NRAH.


This was despite Minister Snelling on 27 January 2013 issuing a media release titled ‘Health Minister slashes public art program to focus on budget priorities’!


In that release Mr Snelling said:


I can’t ask community groups to forgo government assistance and at the same time justify spending $2 million on finding new public art.


Mr Salveson’s evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee on 8 December 2014 shows:


Rob Lucas: “Have you received as a partnership any direction from the Minister not to spend the $2 million on public art within the terms of the contract?”


Peter Salveson: “HYLC has not received that direction from SAHP.”


Rob Lucas: “Or from anyone?”


Peter Salverson: “No”.


“It is quite clear that Mr Snelling’s media release of 27 January 2013 was nothing more than a public relations stunt as he has taken no action to follow through on his stunt,” said Mr Lucas.


“South Australian families struggling with massive ESL increases will be furious at the $600 million blowout on the NRAH but also at the Government’s priorities in continuing to spend $2 million on public art at the NRAH.”