Posts Tagged ‘Centre for Independent Studies’

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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Taxpayer playtime

Posted: 12:13 pm on 5th May 2015

Last November marked 25 years since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was first opened for state signature. Australia, along with most of the rest of the world, is now a party to the Convention, which affirms many important rights, like the rights of children not to be tortured, not to be subject to sexual abuse or trafficking, and not to be drafted into military service. Alongside these…

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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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The cost of change

Posted: 4:00 pm on 26th April 2015

Remember when it cost the Australian taxpayer $195,000 to change the name of the then Department of Immigration and Citizenship to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection? Well, after the 2013 federal election, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry decided to get in on the action, shortening its name to just the Department of Agriculture. The change was part of an admirable – in WasteWatch’s opinion – move…

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Big Day Out

Posted: 3:59 pm on 24th April 2015

“The world is a book,” St. Augustine once said, “and those who do not travel, read only one page.” The new grads at the Department of Human Services must be pretty busy reading then. See, DHS recently spent $13,200 of your money on “coach hire for graduate events in Canberra.” The DHS website proudly trumpets that, as part of the graduate employment program, grads will have access to many professional development opportunities, a…

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