Image for Health head’s travel bill a costly one for taxpayers

TASMANIA’S taxpayers have forked out nearly $100,000 for travel overseas and interstate by Health Department secretary David Roberts since he arrived in Tasmania from the UK two years ago.

Yesterday, Mr Roberts made public his travel expenses after a requests under Freedom of Information and a number of public inquiries.

Mr Roberts saId his department would continue to publish his “routine” travel costs.

The figures showed that during 2008, Mr Roberts’s travel cost $66,059.

A year later and it had dropped to $28,612.

The 2008 travel bill included two study trips to the UK and US within three months - at $8400 and $15,624.

November 2008 was his most hectic travel month, when he travelled to the US, UK, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

All flights were economy class except the UK, US and Melbourne ones (business and economy class).

His 2009 travel inventory showed no overseas study tours, but a number of interstate trips.

National roles accounted for the majority of 2009’s interstate travel.

The most costly interstate trip was to Perth in February at $4523.88 for Mr Roberts’s committee work with the Health Workforce Principal Committee.

Mr Roberts is also a member of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme committee and travel for both committees did not come from the Health Department budget.

Other State Government department heads are not expected to follow Mr Roberts’s lead, a government source said.

Mr Roberts said other members of the department’s senior executive service would not have their travel details published.

Read more HERE