The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 15:10 :44 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills further questions about Ms Jillian Pyle.
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: As members would know, it is alleged that Ms Jillian Pyle was running her Semaphore Hotel from her Public Service desk. Just by way of explanation, I will quote the Code of Ethics for the South Australian public sector. It states:
Public s ector employees employed on a full-time basis must not engage in other employment or other remunerative activity where the activity conflicts or has the potential to conflict with their role as a public sector employee or the performance of such outside employment or activity might affect their capacity to perform their duties.
Public sector employees will obtain written permission from their agency head before engaging in any outside employment or remunerative activity…
The opposition has been given some advice that the DTED management was aware of her outside activity. My questions to the minister are:
1.Is it true that Ms Pyle was missing from work for significant time periods without explicit approval?
2.Did Ms Jillian Pyle have management approval to undertake her role at the Semaphore Hotel?
3.Is it also true that an outside consultant was engaged to undertake work to clean up Ms Pyle's work while she was on paid leave?
4.Is there any further investigation being undertaken into her senior management that the opposition believes may have known that she was doing this work at the Semaphore Hotel?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 15:12 :22 ): I thank the member for his questions, which I have already answered. The honourable member knows full well that there is an investigation under way and it would be most improper of me and completely inappropriate to discuss the details of those allegations or that investigation in any way whatsoever. Clearly, this investigation has taken considerable time. I will certainly be doing nothing in this place that might prejudice or jeopardise the process to date and require that we start all over again.
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 15:13 :03 ): I have a supplementary question. Was an outside consultant hired and also paid to do Ms Pyle's work while she was on paid leave during this investigation, effectively costing the taxpayers twice as much?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 15:13 :18 ): I thank the member for his supplementary question. I do not believe that to be so at all. I think the honourable member is simply coming into this place and making things up, as he often does. He often comes into this place and simply makes things up, hurls grenades and is irresponsible—completely irresponsible. This person under investigation is undergoing a proper process that involves proper justice and due process.
It is completely insulting and completely improper for the honourable member to come into this place and, through innuendo, continue to name this person and name the allegations when he knows that an investigation that has to undergo due process is under way.
It is a shockingly abusive thing that he is doing to this woman. He has been informed on a number of occasions that an investigation is underway, that due process is being done and that it is being done as fast as it possibly can. I have given him a commitment that an answer will be brought back as soon as that investigation is completed. He has that commitment and yet he continues to come into this place making things up—he plucks them from the air.
We know he makes things up all the time. We know how incredibly irresponsible he is. As I said, we are proud on this side of the house to consider people innocent until proven guilty. I hope that if something goes amiss with any of the honourable members opposite me—any mishap—they are afforded the same courtesy and that is that they are treated as innocent until they are proven guilty. They should think about that.
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 15:15 :55 ): Will the minister in her final three days answer the question? Was a consultant brought in to clean up the mess that was left when this person was on paid leave?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 15:16 :06 ): I answered the question. Again, the honourable member simply does not listen. Not only does he come in here and make things up, he does not listen.
The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: Where's the answer?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO: You go back and read Hansard, you lazy thing. You are completely lazy. I have answered that question.
The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: I just asked it a minute ago.
The Hon. G.E. GAGO: And I just answered it a minute ago. The honourable member makes things up, plucks things from the air. I answered the question; I said I don't believe so. If the honourable member would like me to check, I am happy to do that. As I said, it is completely mischievous and it is a completely dishonourable thing to be doing to this woman, who is, as I said, innocent until proven guilty.