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Green to get gold for office

Date

Noel Towell

Shane Rattenbury.

Shane Rattenbury. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Balance-of-power Greens politician Shane Rattenbury has been given more money to run his Assembly office than the Deputy Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader.

And the crossbench minister was even urged by Labor to consider running two offices in the Legislative Assembly when the ALP and Greens were cutting their minority government deal.

Mr Rattenbury's overall staff allowance will be about $790,000 a year, after his ministerial allowance has been topped up by a $219,000 crossbench amount, but the sole remaining Greens MLA says his unusual role in the Assembly justifies the expense.

Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr receives an annual $736,000 while ministers Joy Burch and Simon Corbell get $572,000 to run their offices.

Canberra Liberals leader Zed Seselja is getting $483,000 to run his office, which he tops up with contributions from the allowances of each of his MLAs.

Only the Chief Minister will be granted more money for her staff than Mr Rattenbury - Katy Gallagher's annual allowance is $1.2 million.

Mr Rattenbury, whose allowance is based on his $572,000 allocation as a minister and the $219,000 granted to a crossbencher, said on Monday that the comparison to other ministers and MLAs was irrelevant.

''I don't know how it compares to [others], that's not the basis of the decision,'' he said.

''What I discussed with the Chief Minister and what we agreed was that I would get the standard allocation of a minister for a set of staff to [do] that job.

''I put the view that it would be valuable to have a crossbench allocation because the way the Assembly has worked out, I have to vote on every single matter that comes before it. I can't walk out of the Assembly for a single vote and that vote has to be informed.

''I have my duties that I have to perform as a minister and I have my duties that I have to perform on the crossbench.

''It comes down to a governance issue; for better or for worse, this is how the election has turned out and I now have a set of responsibilities that are quite important to the governance of the territory.''

Mr Rattenbury is expected to finalise his staff of eight in the next day and said on Monday that he had rejected the idea of having separate offices for his ministerial and crossbench work.

''There won't be individual people who would be crossbench staffers or individual staffers - people will have ministerial tasks and some other tasks,'' he said.

''There was some suggestion that I should put people in a separate office but I just don't think that's practicable - it's a poor management technique apart from anything else.

''So it's for me to have the correct protocols in place around information security, for example … Just like people in other ministers' offices do ministerial duties and carry out other duties for their member, I will be in exactly the same place.''

18 comments

  • Of course plenty of cash to be splashed around the halls of power, just don't expect roads without potholes or grass under 1 metre tall.

    Commenter
    WotTha?????
    Date and time
    November 20, 2012, 8:09AM
    • NOW That Canberra,s going to be 100! COULD YOU FIX THE ENTRENCHED PROBLEMS?(A Reliable Public Transport would BE USEFUL!)

      Commenter
      Myke
      Location
      Canberra!
      Date and time
      November 20, 2012, 8:30AM
      • An intelligent person would be able to achieve some scales of economy in this situation. Unfortunately Rattenbury is milking the cow for the next four years before he is ousted and the greens will be no more.

        Commenter
        The word
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        November 20, 2012, 8:54AM
        • You are so right."the word " you hit the nail right on the head.

          Commenter
          margo
          Date and time
          November 20, 2012, 9:45AM
      • And now they want to add another 8 politicians in the ACT and probably 3 more Ministers, and there is nothing you can do about it.

        Commenter
        stoney
        Date and time
        November 20, 2012, 9:05AM
        • It rather comes across as double dipping doesn't it? I was prepared to believe it was journalistic exaggeration until I read his quotes. Pure hubris. Either he is a Minister or he is a cross bencher - this is going to get worse before it gets better.

          Commenter
          Outraged of Palmerston
          Date and time
          November 20, 2012, 9:10AM
          • What a circus. Canberra has never looked worse in the many years I have lived here. Overgrown grass, ovals and buildings let go. Roads going down hill very quick, and unable to cope with the many people choked into the new money making greedy developer suburbs.
            Suburbs like throughout Gungahlin are an eyesore, with rows and rows of identical poor quality units, backyardless anti family houses with roofs almost touching, Future hornet nests of social issues in years to come.
            I guess though we have the make supermarkets richer plastic bag bans (they must still be laughing over that one), luxury jail, artworks, and a big tree farm. Now to push every other minority issue whilst Canberra goes further downhill. To think more than half the local population woke up the labor=greens system and tried to get rid of it. Thankyou to all those other Monday to Friday comfy office working inner city voters, you'll soon have what you wished for.

            Commenter
            Peter
            Date and time
            November 20, 2012, 9:17AM
            • You're welcome.

              Commenter
              Stir the pot
              Location
              Canberra
              Date and time
              November 20, 2012, 9:51AM
          • Suppose he needs the extra to given Meredith, Amanda and Carolyn a job.

            Commenter
            Steve
            Date and time
            November 20, 2012, 9:22AM
            • Come on Ms gallagher, enough with the April Fools day stuff in November.

              Commenter
              NITRO GANGSTER
              Location
              ACT
              Date and time
              November 20, 2012, 9:35AM

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