Member for Schubert Stephan Knoll has started his electioneering early with his release of a booklet titled "40 Reasons Why You Can't Trust Labor with Your Money".
Mr Knoll – who was yesterday appointed a Parliamentary Secretary, a junior position in the Opposition ministry – wanted there to be a record of what he described as “millions of dollars of wasted money”.
"To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, the problem with this government is that eventually they'll run out of other people's money and simply put their hands further into every South Australian's pocket," he predicted.
"South Australians ... can manage their own money far better than this government."
The problem with this government is that eventually they'll run out of other people's money.Stephan Knoll
Almost a third of the "reasons" given in the booklet related to executive payouts, promotions or expenses totalling $4.4 million.
It also contained seven examples of project cost blow-outs, including the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Adelaide Convention Centre, totalling $971 million; and 11 instances when the government had paid for facilities or programs it never or barely used, chiefly electric trains, worth $97 million all up.
Not included, but mentioned, was the $10.5 million the government paid three companies that had bid for work on the now-cancelled Mobilong Prison expansion.
In his new parliamentary position, Mr Knoll will be responsible for policing waste and deregulation, as well as information technology use in government.
He said he accepted that his Liberal colleagues would be held to a high standard if they won government in 2018, especially after subjecting Labor to such scrutiny.
“Everything we put in that document we expect to be better, and to be held to that in government,” he said.
“Part of my role is to find better ways to do it (spend public money).”
Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis was on leave and unavailable to comment, but a government spokesman responded to a request for comment after this story went to print.
“After 14 years in Opposition, the Liberal Party can only come up with pathetic brochures, with not a single positive idea to create jobs in South Australia,” he said.