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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

FOI shows NSW ex-premiers double dipping

Kelvin Bissett's front page story in yesterday's Daily Telegraph "Morris defends Bob's book bills" about the cost to the taxpayers of former premiers, was a direct FOI hit but you have to wonder why this sort of material has to be dug out through the FOI process. It's the type of information that should be posted on a government website as a matter of routine. We commented earlier in the year in our blog "Journalist scoops the pool - FOI unmasks MPs expenses", about how information concerning allowances is freely available on the web in Scotland, for example. Check it out here.

The Tele has a couple of good follow ups today.

As the Premier says "Ex-premiers free to spend", the expenditure is in accordance with guidelines which do not spell out how the money can be spent. Perhaps the guidelines will get an overhaul in the current pre election climate.

This opinion piece "Free subscription to our dollars" reinforces the point that the whole idea of special lifetime benefits for ex premiers doesn't make much sense in an era when they go straight onto subsequent lucrative careers.

Former premiers Carr, Greiner and Wran epitomise the double income strategy, but congratulations to Barry Unsworth who didn't claim a cracker and still pays his fare on public transport. But he may be the last of the Mohicans.

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