Archive for the ‘Public Service’ Category

Taxpayer-funded plants

Posted: 2:03 pm on 4th July 2014

WasteWatch needs some gift advice. What do you get the federal public servant who already has everything? See, this one already has a taxpayer-funded Foxtel subscription. And super-comfy chairs to watch from. And free yoga classes. And a $14,000 coffee table. And expensive coffee machines. And free experiential poetry sessions. WasteWatch was thinking of getting them a nice indoor plant for their office, but it turns out that’s a bit…

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The Great Australian Chair Plague

Posted: 12:32 pm on 20th June 2014

You’d better sit down to read this. Remember the world’s most expensive conference chairs for the G20 meetings in Brisbane later this year? Well, the Great Australian Chair Plague of 2014 hasn’t stopped there. In April this year, the disease was discovered in Canberra, as Geoscience Australia racked up a $45,000 bill for designer meeting room chairs. It struck again recently, as the Clean Energy Regulator spent $53,000 of taxpayer money on…

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Coffee snobs

Posted: 9:00 am on 22nd May 2014

Remember WasteWatch’s famous Periodic coffee table? It was the $14,000 coffee table with the Periodic table encased in the top that the Department of Industry bought (with your money) last year. WasteWatch was a bit bemused at the time, but further digging has revealed that the Department had a very good reason for buying such an expensive coffee table. They are coffee snobs. See, back May 2012, the Department spent…

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Resilience training

Posted: 4:30 pm on 12th May 2014

Australian public servants have long been receiving taxpayer-funded training sessions.There was the “fulfilment training” for the staff at the Bureau of Meteorology. There were the “experiential poetry sessions” for one lucky worker at IP Australia. Now the same agency will offer its workers training in “mindfulness” and “presenteeism.” IP Australia has given nearly $20,000 of your money to a Victorian company for some “Master Your Mind Resilience Training” for its staff this year….

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The world’s most expensive conference chairs

Posted: 2:00 pm on 7th May 2014

Remember the world’s most expensive conference table the Federal Government purchased for the G20 in Brisbane later this year? It turns out WasteWatch missed the real waste. Sorry. See, the table was only $36,000. The chairs that will go around it, on the other hand, cost you nearly $70,000. Of course the contract went to a Canberran company again, so WasteWatch is waiting to hear how much the Australian taxpayer…

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Oops again

Posted: 9:00 am on 30th April 2014

Yes, yes, we did promise this would be the last update on the AEC’s WA Senate mistake. But WasteWatch just can’t let sleeping dogs lie. Or lying dogs sleep. Or something. Anyway, we’re very sorry for lying to you. We’ve had to write another post because the cost to the taxpayer has simply soared since our last one. For instance, there’s been a $276,924 hit to the Australian taxpayer for rental of…

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The world’s most expensive conference table

Posted: 10:14 am on 4th April 2014

Remember the $14,000 coffee table Senator Kim Carr’s department bought last year? Well, buckle up for this one. The Federal Government has just spent more than $36,000 of your money on yet another specially designed table. This one is exclusively for use by the foreign finance ministers and central bank governors who will be attending the G20 in Brisbane later this year. Brisbane must be experiencing a table shortage. If…

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$1.8 million for Australian Citizenship Day

Posted: 1:38 pm on 26th March 2014

Can you name the date on which we celebrate  Australian Citizenship Day? January 26 perhaps?  April 25 maybe? Actually, Australian Citizenship Day is September 17. Have you heard of it? Wastewatch wouldn’t be surprised if haven’t. You’re definitely paying for it though. Australian Citizenship Day was established by the Howard Government in 2001, and is: a special day to reflect on and celebrate being an Australian citizen. It’s part of a…

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Oops

Posted: 10:46 am on 10th March 2014

This will be the last update on the AEC’s WA Senate mistake, WasteWatch promises! At first, WasteWatch thought the cost to the taxpayer of that little error was just over half-a-million dollars. Then, a little while later, another $209,000 in market research popped up. Now, a staggering half-a-million dollars has been added to the price-tag in a little over a week. This includes: —  nearly $160,000 for the preparation and…

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Happy anniversary!

Posted: 11:06 am on 5th March 2014

The Australian taxpayer is really pretty experienced at throwing dinner parties now, if you think about it. They footed the $20,000 bill for that lucky mandarin from IP Australia who flew to Oxford for a candlelit dinner. They footed the $30,000 bill for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s cocktail-and-canape-filled awards evening. And now they’re footing the $36,660 bill for the big bash to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Trade…

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