Remember the WA anti-smoking agency that tried to ban Carmen because the story takes place in a cigarette factory? They were out of control then – but it seems they’re more than over-jealous bureaucrats imposing their wowser views on the opera-loving public.
THE West Australian government’s controversial anti-smoking agency Healthway is embroiled in a corporate perks scandal after an investigation found that its chairwoman and senior executives wrongfully obtained VIP tickets for family and friends to attend sporting and arts events as part of the group’s sponsorship deals.
A damning report released today by the WA Public Sector Commission found Healthway’s top brass enjoyed tickets and hospitality worth $220,000, which was “inconsistent with the obligation to be scrupulous in the use of public resources”.
Let’s look at that in a bit more detail:
A Public Sector Commission investigation of a sample of 58 Healthway sponsorship agreements over four years found 15 included extra hospitality entitlements, giving Healthway access to more than 1150 general admission tickets to “elite sporting events and concerts” and more than 650 opportunities to attend events with VIP level access and catering.
Healthway gets $21 million a year in taxpayers’ money and last financial year distributed $11 million in sponsorship to sport and arts organisations to spread messages about tobacco and alcohol, physical activity, nutrition and obesity.
It isn’t clear what happened to the other $10 million. It sounds to me that the WA government is simply giving money to busybodies to spend as they please with no financial controls or oversight in place at all. This is the same WA government that regularly rattles the begging bowl for more federal tax dollars. Well there is a $21 million saving right there, and if this is any indication of how financial controls work in WA there are plenty of other savings to be had.