Former premiers cost NSW millions

Former premiers cost NSW millions

In further reports of the expenses scandal which is unfolding in Australia, a Freedom Of Information (FOI) report has found former NSW premiers cost taxpayers $1.2 million in expenses in the last year, on top of their parliamentary pensions.

The figures, obtained by Channel Nine, reveal the lifetime entitlements granted to those premiers who served at least one parliamentary term are much more generous than those who had shorter stints in the state’s top office.

Seventeen years after he left office, former Liberal premier Nick Greiner spent more that $500,000 on an office, chauffer-driven car, first-class flights and secretarial staff in 2009.

Former Labor premier Neville Wran, who left Parliament in 1986, cost the state $411,483.

Bob Carr, who retired in 2005, cut his expenses by more than $100,000 on the previous year, spending $326,525 in 2009, including $2500 on stationery.

Morris Iemma, who won the 2007 election but was in office for only three years and one month spent $36,199, mostly on car expenses, although working as a solicitor and recieving a lifetime pension of more than $130,000/year.

A spokeswoman for NSW Premier Kristina Keneally said the system of entitlements for long-serving premiers was set up in 1975 and includes an office with two staff, a car and a driver, 12 first-class flights within Australia, 12 flights within NSW, free public transport in Sydney and free rail travel across Australia.

The Labor premier Barrie Unsworth, who served 21 months until 1988, and the Liberal premier John Fahey, who served less than three years until 1995, receive virtually nothing above their parliamentary pensions.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that since resigning as premier and treasurer in 1992, Mr Greiner has established a lucrative career as a company director.

Last year taxpayers forked out $209,000 for salaries and superannuation for his staff, $169,000 for his Macquarie Street office, $9000 in air travel, $40,000 in car expenses and $72,000 on IT consultants and utility bills.

The state’s longest continuous serving premier, Mr Carr, is now a highly paid consultant to Macquarie Bank and a director of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

He spent $174,000 on staff, $87,000 on his Bligh House office, $2700 on air travel, $33,000 on a car, $2500 on stationery and $26,000 in other expenses.

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Australian Times

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