NEW claims have hit the State Government – this time involving the Health Department.

The allegations were raised at today’s Budget Estimates hearings in Hobart when it was revealed that the secretary of the health department, David Roberts, had a hand in the employment of a friend and that his son had worked in the department.

It follows the resignation of Labor Upper House MP Allison Ritchie at the weekend after it was revealed her two sisters, a brother-in-law and her mother had worked in her offices.

At today’s hearings it was confirmed that Mr Roberts recommended the employment of a friend and former colleague from the UK for the position of his second in charge.

Mr Roberts then removed himself from the selection process.

However, Alice Burchill was then employed on a million-dollar contract and then the department recommended her husband for a job that was subsequently knocked back by the Australian Medical Association.

Mr Roberts also had his son work in his department.

Health Minister Lara Giddings has defended the appointments saying the department had remained at “arms length” in the selection process.

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