Posted: 4:27 pm on 8th October 2013

moneyChange is afoot at the former Department for Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, but those in charge seem to think Salvador Dali is their patron saint, taking to heart his command that “what is important is to spread confusion, not to eliminate it.”

Two weeks before the recent Federal election, DIICCSRTE signed a contract with professional networking website LinkedIn.

For a mere $52 000 of taxpayer money, the Department got an upgrade to a ‘Gold Careers page’. According to the LinkedIn website, this page:

gives you access to a full suite of features for promoting careers at your company, including a clickable banner, customizable modules, analytics on who is viewing the page, direct links to recruiters, video content, and more.

Evidently, the Labor party expected to be hiring, if they won the election.

But, as you know, dear reader, the best laid plans of mice and men…

Tim Flannery was the first, most high profile casualty of the Coalition’s turn away from the climate change apparatus set up under previous governments.

The restructure of government departments (a heart-warmingly regular occurrence these days) means that the Coalition will now get climate advice from the Department of the Environment.

Tertiary education has also been shifted away from the Department, and is now under the purview of Education minister Christopher Pyne.

So the previously Leviathan department is now a shadow of its former self, but, like Tennyson’s Ulysses, it remains strong in will to seek and find your money, and spend it: just a few weeks after their election victory, the new Abbott Government signed another contract with a Canberra human resources company.

On top the $52 000 spent on upgrading their careers page for any incoming staff, it seems the Department will now also spend $11 000 giving its outgoing staff workshops on how to write resumes, apply for jobs, and hone their interview skills.

First you hire them, then you realise they have no work to do, then you give them taxpayer-funded careers advice!

WasteWatch hopes, with Polonius, that there is method in the madness, but perhaps that is taking optimism about government decision-making too far.

William Shrubb, WasteWatch Intern

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