Michelle Lensink

Ministerial Staff

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Regional Development on the subject of office staffing allocations.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The budget papers show that the minister has some 12 FTE positions in her office, at a cost of $1.73 million. Listed also in the budget papers for the Deputy Premier are 10.6 FTEs and the Treasurer has 9.6 FTEs. Can the minister explain why she has more FTEs than both the Deputy Premier and the Treasurer?

The Hon. R.L. Brokenshire: This is where the real work is done.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Public Sector Management, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for Gambling) (14:27): Exactly! That's right. I am with the Hon. Robert Brokenshire. I concur with his interjection. The FTEs—the staffing arrangements in our office—fluctuate from time to time. I could not tell you today whether it still is 12 FTEs or whether that was a particular fluctuation at a particular point in time, but it would be—

The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins: So you don't know how many people work for you.

The Hon. G.E. GAGO: No, I don't. I couldn't stand here and tell you how many FTEs, no. I could approximately but, no, not exactly. It does fluctuate. It fluctuates considerably and it fluctuates from time to time. These are operational matters, and I have staff members who manage these, but all of those arrangements are absolutely transparent, and we are absolutely publicly accountable for it. It is all a matter of public record.
In terms of why it may have been a particular number at that point in time, if you look at the number of portfolios I currently have, Mr President, I think I have more portfolios than any other single minister. It might just dawn on the honourable member that in fact it reflects the scope of work that I currently have responsibility for.

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