Aurora refuses post-scandal spending report

Delta is under the pump over its management of Aurora's electricity network. Photo by Peter...
Photo: ODT files
Aurora Energy is refusing to reveal how much it has spent on consultants in the aftermath of the dangerous pole scandal.

The refusal comes as Aurora and sister company Delta have reportedly been rocked by the resignations of two senior staff members. Aurora/Delta declined an Official Information Act (OIA) request for details on how much it had spent on consultants or external contractors in the wake of the pole scandal, on the basis of commercial sensitivity.

However, it did release a list of companies it contracted work to in the aftermath of the scandal. They included Chapman Tripp and linked company SenateSHJ, which provided legal advice relating to the three separate reviews into Aurora's management of its network and public relations advice.

Commercial sensitivity did not stop Aurora in November last year revealing in response to an OIA request that it spent $15,926.35 on Chapman Tripp and SenateSHJ's services in the second half of October.

Aurora/Delta marketing and communications manager Gary Johnson did not respond to a question about why commercial sensitivity was not an issue in the November OIA response.

The other outside companies it had contracted were Laser Electrical (Alexandra), which carried out pole assessments, MSS Strategic Consultants (Australia) which provided health and safety advice, Beca for quality assurance and Progression Limited for procurement advice. Whistleblower Richard Healey said the latest resignations to rock Delta were its engineering and planning manager Conrad Holland and power systems engineer Rob Douglas.

Both were senior positions and both would be hard to replace given Delta's shattered reputation, Mr Healey said.

Mr Johnson did not respond to questions about the resignations. He said ``we don't comment on individual employees.''

Mr Johnson also did not respond to more general questions about the staffing situation at Delta.


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