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'Shit Happens' Says Maharey

Media Release
November 4, 2005

It has now been revealed that the Families Commission paid out a total of almost $100,000 to their former CEO, Claire Austin. Ms Austin completed only three months work before conflict over governance and policy matters led to her departure earlier this year.

"Ms Austin was a very expensive 'mis-hire'," Lindsay Mitchell, petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB said.

"But it didn't end at just her salary and golden handshake. According to Rajan Prasad, Chief Commissioner, the process of appointing a CEO involved commissioning a corporate governance expert from Massey University and a management consultant. More money down the drain."

"When questioned before the social services select committee in April this year, about the matter of Ms Austin's departure, the then Minister of Social Development Steve Maharey said, 'shit happens' ".

"The Minister's attitude just adds insult to injury. We didn't need this commission and throwing good money after bad with this devil- may- care abandon is just unacceptable. The taxpayer is being mulcted over and over."

"Frankly I don't know which is worse - paying people to do these silly jobs or paying them not to."

Lindsay Mitchell
petitioner for a Parliamentary review of the DPB

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