MEDIA RELEASE: SKINNER’S ‘GOLDEN HANDSHAKE’ MUST REPAY WASTED TAXPAYER DOLLARS

NSW Wastewatch Committee Chair, Hugh McDermott MP has demanded the Premier order an immediate audit of Jillian Skinner’s Parliamentary entitlements, after details emerged that the former Health Minister spent thousands of dollars on sending a 6-page glossy newsletter to every household in her electorate just days after officially resigning from the Parliament.  

 

The front page of the newsletter features a half-page feature on Premier Gladys Berejiklian endorsing her sacked Minister. Other articles include listing Mrs Skinner’s achievements but neglects to mention her failures as Health Minister.

 

Due to Mrs Skinner not officially resigning until 22February 2017, she has been entitled to access a communications budget and electoral allowance worth over $100,000.

 

A newsletter such as Mrs Skinner’s could cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. Conservative estimates of letterboxed, unaddressed mail out to households would cost at least $15,000-$18,000, however an addressed direct-mail to her electorate could cost over $50,000.

 

Quotes attributable to NSW Wastewatch Committee Chair, Hugh McDermott MP:

 

 “This newsletter is nothing but a glorification of the failed health minister – the money should have gone to supporting families of children in our health system

 

“The Premier must instruct the Department of Parliamentary Services to undertake a full audit of Mrs Skinner’s expenses. What else has she wasted taxpayer money on?

 

“This newsletter has confirmed my worst fears that Mrs Skinner has delayed her resignation to lavishly spend taxpayer-funded entitlements.

 

“Failure by the Premier to act shows she endorses such disrespectful behavior towards NSW families and taxpayers. 

 

“Any money she has spent since she announced her resignation should be repaid directly out of her Parliamentary Pension ‘golden handshake’. NSW Taxpayers should not foot the bill for her ego

 

“A simple resignation letter is one thing but this sort of vanity project is a completely different kettle of fish.”

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