Posted: 9:23 am on 18th August 2014

LaughterWe’re in a budget crisis, a time where government must slash and save on every possible spending avenue—right? Apparently not.

Thanks to the Canberra Times, WasteWatch has been made aware of tens of thousands of your taxpayer dollars given to ‘notable guest speakers’ by the Defence Department.

This $11,556 contract with the agency Celebrity Speakers does not specify the guest speaker, but the agency represents celebrities such as comedian Wil Anderson. Not that there’s anything funny about a five-figure price tag for a single speech.

Another $11,220 was spent on a speaker from the same agency to talk to a Senior Leadership conference earlier this year.

These revelations come at a bad time for the Defence Department, which recently had details of its hard-line approach to wage bargaining leaked. The pay rise offered to civilian staff apparently fell short of the headline inflation rate by over 2 percentage points, at a mere 0.9 percent.

It can be argued that celebrity speakers are justified as a way to inspire employees. WasteWatch thinks that whatever inspiration may have resulted in this case was probably not enough to counteract those tough budget negotiations.

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