Posted on: 23 February 2023
Deputy Premier Susan Close – who has become notorious for being the laziest Government Minister – is the latest Labor jet setting MP, racking up more than $72,000 for two international trips, but is keeping the cost details of hotels, meals, and alcohol a secret.
Following inquiries by the Opposition, Susan Close was forced to update the proactive disclosure log for her travel to Egypt in November, which cost taxpayers $27,978.
Susan Close flew business class with a mysterious passenger.
In September, taxpayers forked out $44,729 for the Deputy Premier to visit Europe with another mysterious passenger. She again refused to reveal the details of her hotels, meals, and alcohol.
In total, Premier Peter Malinausaks’ team has spent at least $325,735 on overseas trips with no real justification for the travel - and during a time when South Australians are suffering through a cost of living crisis.
The total cost of Stephen Mullighan’s ritzy US trip remains unknown but is at least $78,000.
Tom Koutsantonis has just returned from Spain and must submit his expenses as quickly as possible.
Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey slammed Susan Close for her “poor worth ethic and lazy reputation”.
“Susan Close needs to stop being secretive and must reveal the full cost breakdown of how much taxpayer money was spent on hotels, meals, and alcohol,” he said.
“It’s humiliating that Susan Close must be constantly reminded of her of the obligations to the public as a Labor Government Minister under Peter Malinauskas.
“At the end of the day, Susan Close’s reputation is reflecting poorly on Peter Malinauskas, and she doesn’t appear to care.
“We know she is locked in a battle with the Ombudsman over releasing FOI documents and a clear pattern is emerging whereby Susan Close will do anything she can to avoid transparency and accountability.
“That’s why the Liberal Opposition gives in principle support to One Nation Upper House MP Sarah Game and her proposed legislation that would require taxpayer-funded Ministerial interstate and overseas travel to be publicly disclosed within 30 days.
“This type of initiative will help hold Lazy Susan Close and other members of Peter Malinauskas’ Labor team to account.
“This is a test for Peter Malinauskas, but history shows there has been no support for any move that makes Labor more accountable for splashing public money.”
Susan Close has also failed to enforce the mandatory proactive disclosure rules for her department, DEW, which hasn’t uploaded any documentation for overseas travel since December 2022.