Legislative Council: Tuesday, June 14, 2022


Parliamentary Secretary

The Hon. S.G. WADE (15:24): My question is to the minister assisting the Premier regarding her role. I ask the minister assisting the Premier:

1. Does she have an office allocated to her at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet?

2. Has she been allocated ministerial staff and, if so, how many?

3. As the assistant minister has repeatedly advised the council that she has no portfolio duties allocated to her, why has she been allocated an office at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet?

4. What is the minister responsible for?

5. Can the minister advise the sum of the additional salary she receives as an assistant minister?

6. Given that the assistant minister has no portfolio responsibilities, what value for money do South Australians derive from her appointment?

The PRESIDENT: Before the Hon. Ms Bourke answers, the Hon. Ms Bourke has been sworn in as parliamentary secretary and it would be proper to address her as such.

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (15:25): Yes, that is right, I am the parliamentary secretary and I do not have any portfolio responsibilities. I feel like we have gone through this a number of times in this chamber. As the honourable member would know—you have been in this chamber far longer than I have and I am sure you have the same handbook that I have—I receive a 20 per cent loading, whilst the members on your front bench receive a 25 per cent loading, so perhaps we should be asking what the members on the other side of the chamber are doing, too, with taxpayers' money.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE: I do not have portfolios.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The Hon. Ms Bourke will be heard in silence.

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE: Thank you, Mr President. To use the fine words of a very fine Labor leader indeed—there have been many great Labor leaders produced, not only in this state but also the country—Paul Keating:

The institution of a parliamentary secretary provides a very inexpensive means not only of giving talented individuals executive experience but providing ministers with their needs of support.

So I think I must be that very talented individual. I think my role is to provide support to ministers, as that is the role of the parliamentary secretary, not to necessarily have portfolios, not to run around being the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, but to be the assistant, to be a secretary and to provide support to any minister who may need support.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The Hon. Mr Wade has a supplementary question.