Jane Holden fronts court for trial

The relationship between former Tasmanian Health Organisation South chief executive Jane Holden and THO chair Graeme Houghton has been described as “untenable”, by a former member of the THO’s governing council. 

Ms Holden was ousted from her role as THO chief executive in 2014, after a report from the Integrity Commission alleged she had improperly employed her husband and associate.

Ms Holden is now attempting to sue the state government on the grounds it wrongfully terminated her contract. 

Former member of THO South’s governing council Lisa Michelle Wardlaw-Kelly presented evidence at Ms Holden’s trial at the Supreme Court in Hobart on Monday. 

Ms Wardlaw-Kelly said Ms Holden had issues with communication, judgement and relationship management, which had “eroded” the council’s confidence. 

“[The report] was the last in a line of issues that on their own would not have resulted in a loss of confidence, but in conjunction with the others they did,” Ms Wardlaw-Kelly said. 

“There are ways in which she excelled and ways in which she didn’t and I guess that’s why we hung in as long as we did.” 

Ms Holden’s lawyer, Mark Rinaldi, said the redundancy had been in breach of a formal agreement and Ms Holden was entitled to the contract’s remaining balance.

Counsel representing the state Paul Turner said no formal contract had been developed as Ms Holden had received a job transfer and an existing contract remained in place.