Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today it was a massive waste of taxpayers’ money to spend more than $500,000 on upgrading offices for Mr Weatherill’s new CEO of his Department.
In evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee Mr Kym Winter-Dewhirst confirmed that he was spending $500,000 on introducing open plan offices for himself and other executives.
Information provided to the Liberal Party indicates that the final cost will actually be closer to $600,000-$800,000.
This waste of taxpayers’ money comes after the previous three CEOs of the Department of Premier and Cabinet had all spent money on upgrading the same offices:
Mr McCann: $187,000
Mr Eccles: $59,000
Mr Hallion: $157,000
“About $1 million of taxpayer’s money has now been spent by four separate CEOs on 4 separate upgrades of their offices,” said Mr Lucas.
“Ridiculously some of those CEOs liked open plan offices so they removed walls whilst others hated open plan offices and reinstated walled offices.”
Former CEO Chris Eccles, who is now the CEO of the Premier’s Department in Victoria defended his decision to get rid of his open plan offices:
“I wanted to determine how effective I could be in an open plan environment and given the number of confidential calls and meetings that I have I made the judgment… that I needed some walls around me and I stand by the decision.”
“Given Mr Weatherill gave Mr Winter-Dewhirst a massive pay rise of $125,000 per year when he was appointed it is time for Mr Weatherill to show some leadership and take control,” said Mr Lucas.
“At a time when struggling South Australian families are being slugged with massive ESL rises and cuts to critical health and education services they will be furious at this insensitive waste of money.
“It is another sad example of the financial mismanagement and incompetence of Premier Weatherill and his Government.”