Posted on: 08 June 2023
The Ombudsman has ruled for Stephen Mullighan to reveal the secret details of his eight-day luxury United States trip, after the Treasurer shamelessly tried to hide 35 documents relating to the travel from the Opposition and public scrutiny.
Stephen Mullighan spent at least $78,000 of taxpayer money on the luxury trip to New York, Los Angeles and Washington between January 19-27.
The Treasurer lapped up five-star comfort at The Marmara Park Avenue (New York), Century Park Hotel (Los Angeles), and Hotel Medina (Washington).
Following huge public backlash over his fancy trip, Stephen Mullighan blocked the release of 35 documents that would have expose the details of the US junket - a decision that has been overturned by the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman ruled that documents 1-4, 7, 8, 14, 17, 21 and 25 should be released in part and the remaining documents in full.
“In my view, none of the remaining documents, being 1-27 and 29-35 could accurately be described as briefing papers, even taking a wide interpretation,” the Ombudsman said.
“Furthermore, the correspondence has not (been) ‘specifically prepared’ for the use of the Minster, and while I appreciate that they may have informed document 28, I don’t consider that they were a ‘significant contributing purpose’ in the document’s creation.”
Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey slammed Stephen Mullighan for attempting to boycott transparency.
“It’s been a shocking week for Stephen Mullighan, who has admitted to blowing this year’s budget and was caught out fudging numbers - now he’s been busted trying to hide how much taxpayer money he blew on his luxury US trip,” Mr Cowdrey said.
“It’s embarrassing that Stephen Mullighan must be dragged kicking and screaming when it comes to accountability over spending taxpayer money. It raises the question, what is the Treasurer so desperate to hide?
“It could be that Stephen Mullighan wasted more taxpayer money while the average South Australian family has been forced to find an extra $383 per week to survive the cost of living crisis. The problem is we don’t know.
“But we look forward to Stephen Mullighan admitting his wrongdoing by complying quickly and releasing the documents he has been so desperate to keep secret.”