Why do we get the impression that the O’Farrell government are taking everyone for a ride? We know their attack on injured workers was all smoke and mirrors with no substance.
STATE government departments splurged $100 million on private consultants last year, with Transport NSW and Railcorp topping the expenditure with $25 million.
Secret NSW budget documents show Treasury and Crown Finance Entity spent $23.3 million and the Department of Family and Community Services ran up costs of $7.1 million.
And, the body the government formed to solve the state’s transport crisis, Infrastructure NSW, spent $4.5 million on consultants last year. The documents, obtained by the NSW Opposition under the Government Information Public Access Act, come as firefighters have been told to slash $64 million from their budget in the next four years.
Transport for NSW and RailCorp, who answer to Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, paid millions for consultancy services to inform them about how to change the culture of both organisations.
Another contractor, Reinvention, was paid $200,000 to provide expert advice on “culture change” within the organisations. Booz was also paid $6.5 million to prepare a report on how to orchestrate a top-to-bottom reform of RailCorp, but it’s proved to be so controversial, the O’Farrell government has never released it.
Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said the government made no apologies for making use of expert advice.
Mr Stoner said in the last four years of office, Labor spent an average of $150 million per year on consultants but delivered “only scandal after scandal”.
They included delivering only half of the promised Parramatta to Chatswood Rail Link for double the cost, the failed $500 million CBD metro project, and the T-Card debacle. “With this appalling record, we couldn’t rely on any of the work undertaken by the Labor government upon coming to office,” Mr Stoner said.
Opposition leader John Robertson said the spending on consultants showed the government was obsessed with reviews, rather than improving services and building infrastructure in NSW.
Mr Robertson said the government was wasting taxpayers’ money.
“While Barry O’Farrell is sacking 15,000 workers from our schools, hospitals and emergency services, he is handing over more than $100 million to expensive consultants,” Mr Robertson said.
“The O’Farrell government could pay for more than 1000 extra nurses or teachers with the money it is spending on external consultants.”