Archive for the ‘Grants’ Category

The grommets are taking over

Posted: 1:13 pm on 26th May 2015

The grommets are taking over! WasteWatch recently brought to your attention the support given to the ‘emerging Australia-China surfing industry’ by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It turns out that China isn’t the only country in the sights of DFAT’s new gnarly public servants. The department has recently spent even more of your money – $29,000, in fact – on Peruvian surfers. Thanks to this grant, two young, disadvantaged…

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Unplayable

Posted: 9:01 am on 20th May 2015

What’s the first thing that would pop into your head if WasteWatch said: “opera”? Pavarotti? Verdi? Shane Warne? See, back in 2008, a marvellous musical based on Shane Warne’s life debuted in Melbourne. It won rave reviews, with numbers like What An S-M-Mess I’m In, Bunny In The Headlights, and The Ball. Of course, Warney’s life (and face) have undergone a few changes since 2008, and an updated version of the musical, complete…

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Grommets at DFAT

Posted: 9:01 am on 19th May 2015

We all know Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a keen surfer. Less well-known is the fact that Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, must also be a fan. WasteWatch can’t think of any other explanation for the $16,500 of your money that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has given to a Gold Coast surfing industry group for ‘strategies for developing global alliances in the emerging Australia-China surfing industry’. WasteWatch didn’t even…

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Puppy diplomacy

Posted: 5:21 pm on 13th May 2015

Remember when WasteWatch discovered that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had given $16,500 of your money to Guide Dogs Queensland, so that they could provide 10 Labrador Retriever puppies for Japan? “DFAT: promoting Australia’s interests, one untrained Labrador puppy at a time,” we said then. We thought perhaps there were better ways of fostering ties between Australia and Japan. Unluckily, DFAT didn’t agree, and this year, Guide Dogs Queensland is back. And…

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The ‘selfie’ plague

Posted: 5:20 pm on 12th May 2015

They used to be called self-portraits. Rembrandt did one. So did Van Gogh. And then, unfortunately, the smartphone generation caught on. The ‘selfie‘ craze – where a smartphone holder contorts themselves suddenly in the middle of a footpath, or at a restaurant, or during a pretty sunset, to pout at their screen – is the reason that all contemporary photos look like iterations of Sir William Beechey‘s famous portrait of Horatio Nelson: only…

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Agony Aunt Government style

Posted: 5:18 pm on 11th May 2015

If your relationship is on the rocks, don’t stress! The relationship wizards, otherwise known as, the federal government and the Australian Research Council (ARC) are here to fix it. A $223,838  University of Western Sydney project funded by the Australian Research Council aims to study and compare different relationships to provide insight into why some thrive and others fail. No . . . apparently falling in and out of love is…

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Are the ARC Hopping Mad?

Posted: 12:12 pm on 4th May 2015

There’s an awful lot of drinking going on in the name of government funded research, however it seems the Australian taxpayer is the only one getting hammered in this round. Forget liver disease, heart disease, cancer, drink-driving and all the other negative effects of alcohol. The Australian Research Council (ARC) has been using its limited resources to focus on the more important aspects of public life: improving the taste of…

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SA helps teeny tiny multinational company

Posted: 9:08 am on 1st May 2015

Ah, we love the smell of corporate welfare in the morning! South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill lost no time setting up the Regional Development Fund after his election victory last year, pledging $15 million worth of grants each year, in a bid to improve the quality of booze at government parties… ah, “increase economic growth and productivity for regional South Australia,” we mean. Our apologies. It’s easy to get the two confused…

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Agree to disagree…

Posted: 1:43 am on 25th March 2015

Here at WasteWatch we’ve been trawling through some older grants for projects that are due to finish this year, in order to look out for them over the course of 2015. The ARC’s five year plans have highlighted some curious ways to spend your money. One of particular interest is a $575,000 grant which started in 2011.  The project clarifies the problem it will solve: “Disagreements sometimes seem to be about…

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Clean Investments Need Cleaning Up!

Posted: 12:00 am on 13th March 2015

We bring you more news from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) who assess the efficacy of, amongst other things, the outcomes of government awarded grants. While you may still be coming to terms with the ineffective near-billion dollars spent on ethanol over the last decade, here’s another little scoop for you. The Clean Technology Investment Program was allocated $800 million to “assist manufacturers to invest in energy-efficient capital equipment and low-emissions technologies,…

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