Luxury spending $880m while 97 die in Western Australia

  In the previous four months, 97 people had died whilst awaiting public hospital treatment in Western Australia, according to a 29 November 1998 report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).  Meanwhile, luxury spending by the State Government continues. (revised as at 22 Nov 1999)

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Northbridge Tunnel 400.00 And rising -- no final estimate. This estimate also excludes costs of private legal actions which are now expected as local property owners sue for damages arising as a consequence of subsidence etc.
Subiaco Oval   40.00 Won't seat as many, but there will be lots of "Corporate Boxes."   (For Australian Rules Football, the WA public's favorite.)
Soccer Stadium   20.00 (For the International Football code.)
West Australian Cricket Association  (WACA) ground   28.00 (It is not known if a "hotline" to bookmakers will be necessary, making the estimates even more "rubbery." Joke!  Remember the Australian cricketers who told us they received money for giving weather information to overseas bookmakers ?)
The Lady Skippers' Yacht Race around the world     2.20 It didn't actually take place -- costs rising with legal action pending.
The Dancing Competition     0.43 Also didn't actually happen -- the State Treasury paid just the same -- it was one of Father's friends.
The Main Roads Dept Enquiry (Who told the Press?)     0.205 Original Estimate was $5000, cost so far $205,000 -- outcome not published.
Elle McPherson's Three-Day "Photographic Opportunity"     1.00 (Evidently there were no WA models available!?!?   :-)   Yes, $1 million spent for a 3-day "shoot" to increase tourism.  In February 1999 it was reported that the whole project had overspent by $2m.)
Extra cost due to "Blowout" of Elle's "Photographic Opportunity"     2.00 Tourist Commission "forgot" about cost of advertisements in the United Kingdom and Singapore.
Perth Esplanade Development.  See Bells and Barrack Square on another Webpage   88.00 Complete with BELLS (from St Martin's in the Fields, a historic London church, donated from Britain years ago, and almost forgotten by the public. The tower was officially opened Dec 2000, and will ring in the new millennium on 31 Dec 2000.)
Convention Centre 230.00 Original author's estimate of $100m was excluding the value of the Crown land to be donated by Richard C -- on our behalf (and at our cost). (Nor did it include the $30m or so gift to the preferred construction company that was discovered tucked away in the small print late in 2000. The existing Burswood Convention Centre company was not impressed with the "non-socialist" government's move, and around 1998-99 had requested a huge sum so it could expand! Plus Taxation concessions, because of the then-existing Asian economic crisis!)
Narrows Bridge widening   70.00 Work started before main contracts let , officially. (Contracts were let around March-April 1999)
Fremantle Maritime Museum   35.00 Described as a Major Traffic Hazard by the Fremantle Port Authority's experts.
Mosman Surf Reef     1.85  
Constitutional Centre     5.00 Establishment and running costs to January 1999
State Public Servants awaiting Redeployment   25.00
per annum. Includes 400 Metropolitan Transport Trust staff displaced by privatisation.
"Consultant Development Manager" Mr Bob Shields -- friend and former neighbour of a top person.     0.136 "Consultant" for $35m boatshed at Fremantle -- the job was not advertised.  Has already been paid $136,906 of $100,000 approved by State Parliament! Contract arranged and started before Cabinet approval was sought.
Privatisation of Armadale-Kelmscott Hospital     1.7 Will not go ahead at present because private bids "not up to scratch." Includes $1,050,840 paid to law firm Skea Nelson and Hager, account not yet finalised, and $362,677 to Robertson, Hill & Knowlton for "public relations" work.
Kwinana Freeway extensions refunds     0.75 Refunds to five engineering firms for the cost of preparing designs for Kwinana Freeway extensions. The West Australian, 11 Mar 99, p 5. Initial specification did not include provision for rail link to Mandurah, in spite of the fact that the rail link has been under consideration for years!
Privatisation of Government vehicle fleet.  Difference between initial savings and the actual results.     5.00
Minimum losses per annum. The initial estimated savings were supposed to be $8m-$10m per year. The new owner can now pass on shortfall in resale prices to taxpayers. Savings now estimated to be only $2.5-$3.0m p.a.
Recruiting consultant's fee for placing one newspaper advertisement and making a recommendation     0.02 Department of Trade and Industry hired CP Resourcing to find a project manager of a one-year project. One press advert., four replies, no interviews, and the consultant recommended appointment of the former head of the department who had retired in July '97. He was to receive $143,900 p.a.
Fountain proposed to be erected on traffic circus at the city end of the Causeway.     5.00 Plus an estimated $100,000 p.a. to maintain.
"Lawrence Affair" (Penny Easton affair), estimated     5.00 Estimated approx. cost of the Marks Royal Commission, subsequent enquiries by the DPP's office and police regarding Halden's petition and the trial of the former premier Carmen Lawrence on perjury charges -- all of which were dismissed by unanimous verdict of jury.
Temporary road surface past former minister's proposed roadhouse     0.50 Former Minister for Transport Charlton "helped" to have pressure brought to bear to have a road temporarily surfaced after the Main Roads Department had suspended construction of new road ($1.7m worth!) after the ground became too wet.
Additional -- Privatisation of government vehicle fleet    25.00 Seems there was a misunderstanding between Mr Weiss, then Transport Minister, State Treasury and Matrix (Eastern States company which got the job without all the bother of having to go to tender). Additional cost as revealed in Parliament during October '99.
TAFE computerised management information system, dropped after the Department of Employment and Training had spent $5m p.a. for three years without success.    15.00 Auditor-General reported system was unlikely to meet requirements, and a system could have been bought "off the shelf" and modified to suit TAFE at a fraction of the price -- a common practice with systems of this size.
The West Australian, 13 Nov 99
Waterfront dispute -- police wages bill blowout      2.30 Extra overtime etc. for police used to keep order on the union picket lines in the waterfront dispute between Patrick's and the Maritime Union of Australia.
Rally Australia (cars) and Heineken Classic golf held in Perth during 1997      0.305 Overshot the $1m budget by $305,000.  WA Tourism Commission got an extra $190,000 from Treasury for Rally Australia and $115,000 for the Heineken golf tournament.
Training Camps for juvenile offenders      3.00 Precise figure not announced yet. Programme was started despite authoritative information from the United States that such schemes did not work (and the commonsense opinion that the tremendous heat of the chosen area was not conducive to getting work out of the offenders).
TOTAL revealed publicly  -- so far 880.91 $880,910,000, and rising

  The cause of the 97 deaths of people on hospital waiting lists is largely due to the Western Australian State Government's not finding enough funds to properly increase the staff and resources needed in the public hospital system for an aging population.

  Contrast this with the luxury spending revealed in the past few years by the WA Government. Even the best of revenue systems cannot keep pace with luxuries and waste, of the nature shown in the $783,830,000 list prepared by IAN ANDERSON of City Beach around December 1998. When he updated the list on 22 Nov '99 the total had grown to $880,910,000 (with a few items likely to incur similar losses in future years).

  Most comments are by IAN ANDERSON, with some additional comments by John Massam. Updated by Mr Anderson on 22 Nov 1999. Various other additions are by John Massam.

  Further comment by John Massam: Public revenues in plenty could be found if each of the three levels of government taxed sensibly, so that people who are working for employers, working as employers or trading, working as professionals, farming, fishing, etc., keep most of what they earn, but people whose main income sources are speculation and "unearned increments" pay their fair share of taxes.

Further items about the government's maladministration in general have moved to Waste, and regarding forestry to Regional Forests Agreement deception

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Tagged with AOLPress/2.0 ™ and to WWW Tuesday 22 December 1998 (deliberately leaving the background a grey colour as a mark of mourning for the 97 deaths), divided 19 July 99, (spellchecked 06 May 2000), last modified using Microsoft WordPad 14 May 00, 26 - 29 Dec 2000, 12 May 2001, 15 Jun 01

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