Consultants add up in Queensland govt. The new Queensland Premier promised to freeze the hiring of consultants once sworn in, but it seems Campbell Newman has backed down on that vow. We’re told Queensland Health has signed contracts with Payroll Portfolio, with 10 consultants now working on executive positions. According to our George Street mole:

“Consultants are being paid by Queensland Health upward of $1000 per day x 10 = $10,000 per day x five working days = $50,000 per week. This is very conservative figure and focuses on only one executive team in one executive office of the Queensland Health payroll portfolio team.”

Remember, the department’s bungled payroll system has already cost $220 million under Labor, as we’ve previously documented, with $75 million in over-payments still being clawed back. Newman has already ordered a probe into what went wrong. Now it seems there’s extra consultants working on it. Do you know more?

No art in government office movements. “It would be interesting to know,” asks one Crikey reader meanwhile, “how much the temporary office moves going on in Queensland government at the moment are costing.” Indeed. They report: “Moving one smallish branch, which may only be for a few weeks until the new departments are sorted out, is apparently costing $20,000. No doubt more such moves are happening across government at the moment and will add up to more than the entire literary awards that were just scrapped cost.”

Victorian department in IT hell. And in Victoria, from the 3AW Rumour File: “The Department of Justice has, for over five years, been involved in a multimillion dollar project to build a new computer database incorporating court information. He says it has so many problems, including subcontractors from India being dismissed, that the DOJ staff have labelled it “Myki 2”. That would be Melbourne’s transport smartcard that doesn’t always work when you tap on.

Dr PM from Macquarie Uni. Seems a former prime minister is heading to Macquarie University this afternoon to receive a little award …

Property developer close to receivership? A Melbourne-based property developer seems to be in a deal of financial trouble. We’re investigating and will let you know.

Pirates of the Middle East: liner on edge. Word from the good ship Queen Mary 2 via a few Australian travellers: be wary of real-life pirates. Our cruise-goers report since leaving Dubai (bound for England) the famous liner is swarming with armed special forces-type operatives and that there are nightly deck blackouts. Pirates are quite common in those parts, apparently.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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