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News News Buswell’s budget-management credibility shattered again

Treasurer Troy Buswell’s budget-management credibility has been shattered again by revelations that he has allowed the cost of his review into the State’s industrial relations system to blow out by more than 60 per cent.
Documents obtained by UnionsWA under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws reveal that Mr Buswell failed to put a contract in place to manage the cost of the review, which was performed by Melbourne based lawyer Stephen Amendola.  Without a contract in place, the cost of the review blew out from the $500,000 verbally quoted by Mr Amendola to more than $850,000.

UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said that Mr Buswell’s scant regard for taxpayers’ money would be deeply offensive to workers providing health, education, child protection and other essential public services, who Mr Buswell has savaged through his arbitrary 3 per cent budget cuts.
Mr Buswell’s performance was also completely hypocritical when you consider the attacks he has made on the former government for its performance in controlling government expenditure and managing contracts for projects like the Perth Arena.
“Troy Buswell appears to have two sets of standards for budget and contract management,” Ms McGurk said.
“It appears that if you are a public service worker providing essential public services like health, education, policing and child protection, Mr Buswell is happy to publicly ridicule you for not being able to control costs and then take 3 per cent of your budget away.
“However, if you a wealthy Melbourne-based lawyer giving the Government recommendations on how it can cut minimum standards and change the award safety net for public sector workers, you get a blank cheque and don’t even have to sign a contract.
“Mr Buswell even appears oblivious to the funding shortfalls in his own Department of Commerce, with internal memoranda obtained under FOI revealing deep concern over the absence of a contract with Mr Amendola, the lack of funding and the likelihood of a cost blowout.
“This isn’t the first time Mr Buswell has slipped up on simple financial matters.  How on earth can the Premier trust him to manage the State’s finances and manage contracts for the billions of dollars in capital works projects currently under his watch?
“And how long can the Premier continue to tolerate his hypocrisy in demanding workers providing essential public services cut their costs, while completely disregarding basic financial management standards himself?
“If the Premier continues to tolerate Mr Buswell’s performance, this government will quickly become known as a government that says one thing and then does completely the opposite.”
Ms McGurk repeated her call for the State Government to release Mr Amendola’s report, which contains 198 recommendations to change working conditions for more than 300,000 Western Australians in areas including individual versus collective agreements, the award safety net, minimum wages, statutory minimum conditions of employment and unfair dismissal.
Ms McGurk said UnionsWA’s No WorkChoices in WA campaign would be run until the State Government guaranteed that it would:
• Not introduce WorkChoices style individual contracts in Western Australia;
• Not erode minimum standards or the award safety net system in Western Australian workplaces;
• Maintain the role of the WA Industrial Relations Commission as the independent umpire;
• Maintain protections against unfair dismissal; and
• Maintain and improve public services in WA.
More information about the campaign could be found at

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  • SOS Action Plan

  • EmpowerWA

  • WAjobsfromwaresources

  • May_Day_Photos
  • Don't Risk 2nd Rate Safety

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