Budget chaos with no Premier and no Treasurer
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan has called on Acting Premier, Acting Public Sector Management Minister, Acting State Development Minister, Acting Jobs and Trade Minister, Acting Federal-State Relations Minister, Acting Treasurer, Acting Finance Minister, Acting Energy Minister, Acting Aboriginal Affairs Minister, Acting Mines and Petroleum Minister, Acting Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister, Acting Electoral Affairs Minister and Acting Asian Engagement Minister, Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Mental Health, Roger Cook, to allay concerns the State Budget process is derailing.
“With 65 days until the State Budget, Ministers’ diaries would normally be filled with Expenditure Review Committee meetings, meetings with departments and meetings with other Ministers to finalise details of the budget.” Dr Nahan said.
“As former treasurer I am well aware of the work required at this time of the budget cycle and yet the Premier, Treasurer and a swag of senior ministers are on holiday.
“This is a maiden budget for this Government, this Premier and, crucially, this Treasurer, they have no past experience to call on.
“Just over 100 days on the job, a delayed start to parliament and a budget deferred for four months and only a handful of ministers on the job.”
Dr Nahan said chaos brought about by the Government’s decision to move or sack more than 40 senior public sector executives to date was adding to concerns of many senior bureaucrats about the budget process.
“At this stage Ministers would normally be working closely with their Directors General about their department’s budget, however I am receiving feedback that this is not happening either because Ministers are away or because there have been so many changes at the executive level,” Dr Nahan said.
“There are many Directors General who have been removed, or moved aside from their primary role, who have intimate knowledge of their former department and its expenditure, line item by line item, and they are gone.
“There will be a decision-making void over the next two weeks which will leave senior public servants preparing the budget under difficult circumstances while knowing the Government is committed to removing at least 60 more of their number.”
“Mark McGowan and Labor had a plan to get into Government. They had no plan to Govern.”