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Nothing proactive about Weatherill Government disclosure

Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today the Weatherill Government had broken its promise to regularly publish online the expenditure of State Government Ministers and their staff.

In September 2013 Mr Weatherill announced “Public Disclosure” on departmental websites for credit card, overseas travel and mobile phone costs would increase accountability in public officials:

“Governments should be accountable to the people they represent – that is why I’ve asked all Government departments and Ministerial offices to make a range of information regularly available.”                                                                                  (Media Release, 4/9/2013)


However, just two and a half years later, it is clear many Ministers are not taking the responsibility of proactive disclosure seriously.

The worst offender, Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close, has not published any proactive disclosure information since June last year.

Many other Ministers have not updated their websites since last year either, including Health Minister Jack Snelling (No credit card/office expenditure since October), Treasurer Koutsantonis (October), Environment, Water and Natural Resources Minister Ian Hunter (November) and Defence Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith (December).

“It is completely unacceptable that these Ministers are so far behind,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.

“Mr Weatherill needs to explain why so many of his Ministers haven’t published any information on ministerial expenditure since last year.

“Either Ministers are slack, or they are deliberately delaying the public release of information to limit the embarrassment. Whatever it is, they need to lift their game.

“In the meantime, the Opposition has been forced to continue sending Freedom of Information requests to uncover information, such as Tourism Minister Leon Bignell staying overnight at the Intercontinental Hotel rather than returning to his McLaren Vale home.

“Mr Bignell only paid the $185 back after this was exposed in the media, which highlights the need for transparent and accountable government.”