$7m in savings as boards axed

Peter Gutwein
Peter Gutwein

TREASURER Peter Gutwein has confirmed 16 government boards and committees will get the chop in next week's state budget in an effort to create $7 million in savings.

Mr Gutwein told Parliament yesterday a further 18 boards would have funding or membership reduced.

Details obtained by The Examiner through a right to information request in June showed about 150 boards existed at a cost to the state of $10 million a year.

The Liberals made an election promise to audit the boards and identify savings.

To date, only the Climate Change Action Council has faced the axe, with legislation repealing the group passing the Legislative Council last night.

Mr Gutwein said every board and committee would be expected to play its part in finding savings.

"That means that over 20 per cent of all boards and committees will either be abolished, merged or have their membership reduced in our first budget," Mr Gutwein said.

"As part of the budget development process, each year we will look at the list of boards and committees and look for additional savings," he said.

Members who are paid for sitting on a board or committee will also face a pay freeze.

The list released under RTI showed board members' salaries start at nothing and go as high as $119,000 a year to provide advice on a range of matters from flouride and Tasmanian place names to overseeing businesses managing state-owned assets.

Opposition Leader Bryan Green said that since March the government had created seven boards.

"We'll be doing the maths on what they actually end up with," Mr Green said.

"I'll be very interested to see what boards they cut because boards are put there to ensure there is a process in place for scrutiny from people outside government."