$240k per annum - your $ at work (oopss waste)

  1. Yak
    13,672 Posts.
    The whole ATSIC trough should be dried up and put aside

    ATSIC chief facing dismissal
    By Tony Koch
    July 16, 2003

    ATSIC chairman Geoff Clark faces dismissal after being issued with a notice to show cause why he should not be suspended from his $240,000-a-year position.

    Indigenous Affairs Minister Phillip Ruddock sent the notice to Mr Clark on Monday, giving him seven days to respond to claims that he had misled the Minister and had brought the nation's peak indigenous body into disrepute.

    Depending on the response, Mr Ruddock then has the option to recommend to the Federal Parliament that Mr Clark, who is an elected official, be sacked.

    Mr Ruddock's "show-cause" letter to Mr Clark cites his conviction on assault charges arising from a pub brawl and his expenditure of $31,000 on a taxpayer-funded trip with his wife to Ireland last year as the issues considered serious enough for his suspension.

    In March 2003, Mr Clark was convicted and fined $2000 for obstructing police and behaving in a riotous manner – charges that arose from a brawl in a pub in his hometown of Warrnambool.

    Mr Clark, who was subdued by police using capsicum spray, initially faced 19 charges, including assaulting police. That was reduced to two charges, both of which had potential jail penalties, after an eight-day court hearing. Mr Clark has appealed the conviction.

    At the time Mr Clark caused more controversy by confirming he had ATSIC approval to cover legal expenses to $45,000. He did not draw on those funds after a public outcry over the ATSIC board decision to approve the funding.

    In relation to the overseas trip, it was revealed that Mr Clark – who was accompanied by his wife – spent only two nights at a week-long human rights conference in Ireland.

    Mr Clark had assured Mr Ruddock that it was necessary for his wife to accompany him to undertake official duties, but said on his return that she had gone to Ireland because she "needed a break" and was "entitled" to a free annual trip.

    What has to be decided is whether Mr Clark misled the Minister as to the true purpose of the travel.

    Mr Ray Robinson, who resigned last month as deputy ATSIC chairman, is expected to receive a similar letter from Mr Ruddock asking him to show cause why he should not be suspended as an ATSIC commissioner.

    Mr Robinson was last month asked by Mr Ruddock to explain why he had advised the Minister he had not used ATSIC legal funds for his private legal matters, but a subsequent audit found that he had.

    The Ruddock request to Mr Robinson followed articles in The Courier-Mail stating that Mr Robinson, who was chairman of the ATSIC-funded Bidjara Legal Service, had used that organisation's funds to pay legal fees for his private defamation actions and for the administration of his mother's estate.
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