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13 March, 2024

Last December the Victorian Ombudsman Ms Deborah Glass published a damning report on the State Government’s alleged politicisation of the public sector, which criticised the “frequent circumvention of merit-based recruitment processes” by government departments.

Those of you who use Melbourne or Victorian trains in general know first-hand the problems with service delays.  Service cancellations and delays are an almost daily occurrence.

The head of Public Transport Victoria and the Public Transport Division of the Victorian Department of Transport was Jeroen Weimar from 2016 to 2020. Mr Weimar was also head of the state’s Covid-19 pandemic response agency, almost daily at the side of then Premier Daniel Andrews during the routinely televised press conferences about the lockdowns and restraining orders that “brought Victorian businesses and citizens to their knees”.

Mr Weimar, immediately after providing his service during the Pandemic in June 2022, is appointed head of the organising committee for the 2026 Commonwealth Games and is once again in the spotlight after the controversial cancellation of the Commonwealth Games in July 2023.

Now here in the present day, we witness another episode with Jeroen Weimar as the protagonist. This time, Daniel Andrews’ successor, Premier Jacinta Allan has decided to appoint him as head of her government’s housing policy, offering him an annual salary of $533,000!  In fact, no advertisement and no interviews were conducted to fill this position!

Last Wednesday, the Victorian Parliament rejected a motion in the Upper House for an inquiry into Weimar’s new appointment by the Ombudsman.

Ms Allan’s Labour MPs won the support of the Greens and Georgie Purcell of the Animal Justice Party in voting against the proposal.

Given the Ombudsman’s finding that there is “frequent circumvention of merit-based recruitment procedures”, one wonders why the Government and the Greens do not want an inquiry into exactly how Mr Weimar was recruited.

When one adds to the mix the cost of living crisis that Victorian households are experiencing, it is reasonable to question the issues surrounding this gentleman’s hefty salary ($533,000 per annum) and whether his past performance in Transport, Pandemic and the Commonwealth Games management actually justifies his appointment.  In any case, conducting an investigation may be the best way to avoid any misunderstanding.

Καθαρός ουρανός, αστραπές δεν φοβάται

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