The Weatherill Labor Government revealed in Parliament yesterday that it does not listen to its Department CEOs.
In evidence to the ICAC inquiry into the Gillman land sale, current Chief Executive of Renewal SA, John Hanlon, stated:
“I think it's an extraordinary transaction to make. They quite successfully tied up 10 years worth of competition. It is just an extraordinary way of tying up your asset. It's an extraordinary transaction that you do question why there does not seem to be a benefit. There is no benefit to the state in relation to this.”
In Parliament yesterday, the Government was asked whether it still believed the Gillman land deal was in the best interests of South Australians, given that the current Renewal SA Chief Executive did not believe it was.
Premier Weatherill responded: “We do stand by our decision about this being a good deal for South Australia. The narrow perspective of a land disposal body about maximising the value of a land and the price of a piece of land and I think, frankly, the erroneous chain of reasoning about the effect on landfill competitors is something we just do not accept.”
“Department CEOs are paid a lot of money by South Australian taxpayers,” said Shadow Minister for Housing and Urban Development Vickie Chapman.
“In fact, Premier Weatherill’s Department CEO is paid over half a million dollars.
“It seems then extraordinary that their advice and opinion would not be heeded by the Weatherill Labor Government, particularly Premier Weatherill himself.
“What kind of role are Department CEOs supposed to have if they are not being taken seriously by the Weatherill Labor Government?
“And what’s next? Will Premier Weatherill ignore advice from the Police Commissioner? “Does Mr Hanlon have the confidence of Mr Weatherill if Mr Weatherill still believes that the Gillman deal was a good deal for South Australians despite Mr Hanlon stating the contrary?”