WA Premier “mad as hell” over allegations of $2.5 million fraud scandal

By Sarah Smit

The Premier is “shocked and outraged” at the fraud scandal that rocked the department of communities this week when the Assistant Director General was charged with the alleged theft of 2.5 million dollars of public money 

Paul Whyte had been working at the Housing Authority for 10 years, both before it was amalgamated into the Department of Communities in 2017 and after. 

Premier Mark McGowan said in a press conference today that the crimes may have taken place over considerably more time than we currently know and with much more significant amounts of money involved. 

Attorney General John Quigley told reporters that CCC prosecutors are putting the figure as high as 25 million dollars. 

Minister for Housing Paul Tinley said he was utterly shocked “on a personal level” at allegations that he said “struck at the heart of the agency” he ran, having worked closely with Whyte over a number of years.

The Premier has ordered an independent review into the Housing Authority over the scandal. 

State Opposition Leader Liza Harvey attributed the scandal to the Machinery of Government changes made by the McGowen Government in 2017, creating a number of amalgamated departments over a wide range of public sector agencies.

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