Posts Tagged ‘travel’

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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Ay, caramba!

Posted: 10:40 am on 10th February 2015

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade naturally works to promote Australia, and rightly so. But it seems to come at quite a cost. Browsing through their awarded grants of 2012/13 exposed that $40,000 was gifted to Grainger TV in accordance with the Council on Australia-Latin American Relations (COALAR). Whatever for? “The dubbing of four episodes of Travel Oz in Spanish and Portuguese for showing on cable TV in Latin…

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Future Fund flying high

Posted: 1:41 pm on 18th December 2014

There’s just something about airports, isn’t there? That sense of adventure and exploration in the air. The halls filled with throngs of eager travellers. The taxpayer-funded visits to the business class lounge. Wait, what? See, the Future Fund Management Agency has recently signed a one-year contract with Brisbane-based corporate travel giant FCm Travel Solutions for “business airline travel.” In the course of that one year, from April 2014 to April…

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Taxi watch

Posted: 1:38 pm on 17th December 2014

It has been over a year since WasteWatch last checked up on the Commonwealth government’s cab addiction. As of May 7 last year, the federal government had racked up $32 million worth of taxi fares over about six years. WasteWatch hates to say it, but it doesn’t seem like that trend has changed. In the fourteen months months since we last checked, the federal government has spent nearly $18 million…

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It’s not just the MP’s gold passes that are costing us.

Posted: 10:36 am on 11th November 2014

What a surprise. The abolition of the Life Gold Pass Scheme for former MPs announced in the May budget is under attack. The scheme provided former MPs and senators with 10 free return airfares within Australia every year. Thankfully MPs and senators elected since 2012 do not qualify for the scheme. While the politicians fight to save this perk for their former colleagues, we think the government should also be looking…

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Taxpayer-funded travel in Tasmania

Posted: 10:25 am on 3rd June 2014

Taxpayer-funded travel is surely one of the biggest perks of being a pollie. Remember the $50,000-an-hour pollie shuttle? Or WasteWatch’s paean to the old Parliamentarians’ Overseas Study Travel Reports? Well, it seems that Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley wanted in on the action. Senator Polley has racked up a travel bill of nearly $30,000 of taxpayer money on 20 charter flights between Launceston and Hobart between February 2011 and March 2013,…

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A hell of a lot of money

Posted: 1:32 pm on 20th January 2014

The taxpayer-funded travel stories continue . . . There’s been the the Overseas Study Travel Reports here, the $150,000 Mistoffelees Express here, the $50,000-an-hour pollie-shuttles here, and, most recently, Senator Kim Carr’s recent holiday to Germany here. And so it was, that WasteWatch turned to page 6 of a recent copy of The Australian Financial Review (14th Jan 2014), looking for some light reading of course, and found instead a…

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Ground control to Major Kim

Posted: 9:15 am on 13th January 2014

You know by now, dear reader, that a new edition of the Parliamentarians’ Overseas Study Travel Reports is like another birthday for WasteWatch. Thus it was a sad day when the overseas study travel entitlement was abolished, although accrued entitlement to taxpayer assistance for pollie-junkets will carry over into this 44th parliament. Last year, we brought you some of our favourite report excerpts here. This latest edition, which covers January…

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Flying high on taxpayer money #2

Posted: 11:01 am on 17th December 2013

Taxpayer-funded travel is one of the best perks of the government sector. WasteWatch has already told you about the $50,000 an hour pollie shuttle, and the joys of reading through the Parliamentarians’ Overseas Study Travel Reports. Now the federal government has helpfully published a full list of how much 133 agencies and departments anticipate they will spend on domestic air travel alone, in the four years leading up to 2014….

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$150k pet transport

Posted: 12:32 pm on 18th November 2013

The Australian government obviously has a soft spot for cats and dogs. WasteWatch recently brought you news of DFAT’s important Labrador export program. Now it turns out that cats and dogs are flying in luxury, thanks to the Australian taxpayer. Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture spent $150,000 flying animals from the Byford quarantine facility near Perth, to Sydney. The animals were evacuated due to bushfire concerns. Is WasteWatch…

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