Posted: 1:38 pm on 26th March 2014

flagCan 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 plan for the Department of Immigration (and Border Protection) to:

promote the value of Australian citizenship and to encourage the acquisition of citizenship by eligible non-citizens.

In pursuit of this worthy and noble goal, the Department has flung around vast sums of your money.

In the three years from 2005, it spent $225,000 on Australian Citizenship products.

In the three years from 2007 ( there is some overlap), this climbed to a whopping $750,000 of taxpayer money.

In 2009, the Department spent $313,500 promoting Australian Citizenship on Australia Day, and then did the same thing in 2010.

Finally, in an effort to see if any of this was worth it, the Department spent nearly $190,000 last year on ‘research of Australian citizenship among Australian citizens and non-citizens.’

Apart from their dubious preposition choice, this contract brought the Department’s spending to nearly $1.8 million.

On a side note, it costs eligible non-citizens $260 to apply for Australian citizenship.

Perhaps all this spending is just part of DIBP’s business plan to rake in more through citizenship application fees.

Or is it just a waste of your money?

William Shrubb, Research Assistant

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