Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Call for Bleijie to Get Boot over Hard Yakka Auditor Criticises Bleijie; Cost of Boot Camps Jumped $7.4M with No Documentation of Why

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Call for Bleijie to Get Boot over Hard Yakka Auditor Criticises Bleijie; Cost of Boot Camps Jumped $7.4M with No Documentation of Why

Article excerpt

Pamela Frost

APN Newsdesk

FORMER LNP Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has rejected a scathing report that has criticised his decisions about youth boot camps across Queensland, including the Hard Yakka camp at Susan River.

The Auditor-General's report revealed Mr Bleijie (pictured left) chose more expensive companies to run the youth boot camps and went against the advice of other panel members.

Favouritism, lack of transparency and weakened accountability were some of the terms used in the report.

Current Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath (right) called for Mr Bleijie to be sacked, saying he put politics over policy and integrity.

But Mr Bleijie rejected the criticisms, saying a price could not be placed on community safety and that the cheapest option was not always the best.

"I wasn't going to put a price on the safety of Queenslanders," he said.

The LNP government trialled two types of boot camps; an early intervention camp targeting teenagers at risk of long-term offending, and sentenced boot camps for teenagers who have a criminal history and face detention.

Auditor-General Andrew Greaves's report said the company Mr Bleijie chose for the Fraser Coast boot camp contract did not support the best value for money.

He said in the report that the state paid an extra $2900 per participant at the Fraser Coast boot camp compared to the Rockhampton one, and $5550 more per person than the panel's preferred tenderer.

The report said Mr Bleijie rejected the panel's recommendation and awarded the contract to Oz Adventures; a company which the panel had deemed unsuitable.

It was ranked 10th out of 12 respondents on the list and was the most expensive.

"No documentation has been made available to us that demonstrates how this decision was made," the report said. …

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