Posted: 11:01 am on 17th December 2013

airplaneTaxpayer-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.

The amount, dear reader?

Oh, it’s only a casual $1,343,847,476.00.┬áThat’s right. Over $1.3 billion of your money.

According to the World Bank, that’s more than the GDP of Tonga. And Samoa. Put together.

Of course, the behemoth Department of Defence tops the scales, weighing in at $464 million, followed by daylight second, followed by the Department of Human Services, with $156 million.

More interesting, though, is the bill about to be racked up by the old Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population, Communities and other nice things (now just the plain old Department of the Environment). The Department is projected to spend $28 million of your money. WasteWatch wonders how many (taxpayer-funded) trees they will plant to offset these (taxpayer-funded) carbon emissions.

Our old friends the Bureau of Meteorology will spend a mere $5.8 million, dropping to 27th on the list, a damaging slump after their strong performance on the international air travel contract.

And to think, all of this money could be saved if the federal government only embraced its own teleworking strategy!

Perhaps that’s a bit optimistic though…

William Shrubb, Research Assistant, WasteWatch

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