No special deals: Holden

Jane Holden
Jane Holden

EMBATTLED health boss Jane Holden has rejected Integrity Commission allegations that she used her position to award jobs to friends and family.

A report by the Commission was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, accusing the former Tasmanian Health Organisation South chief executive and her North-West counterpart Gavin Austin of misconduct.

But in a radio interview yesterday, Ms Holden said the report did not include all the evidence.

Ms Holden said she and Mr Austin, her former co-worker from New Zealand, had no friendship when he was offered the role of financial director in 2010.

She said his position had been hard to fill and they were desperately trying to find someone, with the role advertised three times.

"If I was going to get my mate I might have done that the first time. I did not," Ms Holden said.

She said she spoke to the Department of Health about bringing Mr Austin over from New Zealand after he contacted her, and he received the role on merit after being judged against other short- listed applicants.

"It was absolutely clear that I had worked with Gavin Austin, and he had approached me, when I discussed bringing him over," she said.

Ms Holden conceded that the selection documentation didn't look good, but she had given her notes for typing and couldn't find her notebook for that period.

"That's not a breach of integrity, that's untidy," Ms Holden said.

She also rejected suggestions her husband was not qualified as a builder when he was first hired by the North-West Area Health Service, saying he was recognised by the Housing Industry Association.

"The issue here is whether he was a licensed building practitioner, I think is the term, and he wasn't required to be that in a role as a carpenter and joiner at the time he was here," she said.

Ms Holden said that during her time on the North-West, she was satisfied that no special deals had been made.

She said that as chief executive of THO South, she did not create a job for her husband, and "did not in any way ensure that he got it".

Health Minister Michael Ferguson said on Wednesday that Ms Holden had 48 hours to demonstrate why her employment should not be terminated.

But a state government spokeswoman said Ms Holden had 48 hours from receiving the formal notification yesterday.

The spokeswoman said a decision would be made on Ms Holden's future early next week.