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Letter proves unions warned former govt of payroll system

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg john mccutcheon

UNIONS attempted to warn the former Queensland government against introducing the disastrous Health Department payroll system - but were ignored.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg used an estimates hearing in Parliament to produce a letter from the Queensland Council of Unions in which general secretary Ron Monaghan admitted to making attempts to warn the former Labor government of the payroll risks.

The letter stated Health Department senior officials blocked his attempts.

Mr Monaghan said union members' warnings were dismissed as "scaremongering".

The failure of the State Government payroll system introduced in 2010 cost taxpayers $1.25 billion and left many employees under and over-paid.

Upon receiving the letter in Parliament on Wednesday, the health and community services committee adjourned to consider whether they would call Mr Monaghan to give evidence.

But Opposition Leader Anastacia Palaszczuk and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller did not attend the meeting and, in turn, the matter could not be voted on.

Mr Springborg produced another letter stating computer giant IBM had delivered "against milestones" agreed to with the former government and wrapped up the payroll system implementation on "agreed terms".

Mr Springborg said he wanted to know what those milestone and agreed terms were, to shed more light on the payroll fiasco.

But as the committee went to adjourn to deliberate calling evidence from IBM, the Opposition confirmed again they would skip the meeting.

For a committee to vote on a motion, one non-government member must be present.

Mr Springborg has been battling the Opposition to view cabinet information regarding the payroll bungle and potential causes.

The Opposition claims the Health Minister has the right to view the documents under confidential cabinet rules.

But Mr Springborg told estimates he would not be able to take notes or talk about the cabinet information, a situation he compared to having gaffer tape over his eyes, ears and mouth.

Topics:  labor lawrence springborg lnp payroll system politics queensland council of unions queensland government queensland health



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