Posted: 9:00 am on 17th September 2014

movie compA five minute video costing $85, 000—that shakes out to $17,000 per minute. With that kind of budget, you would expect this motion picture to be contending for the next Tropfest awards.

As revealed in Senate estimates on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, two contracts for $35,000 and $50, 000 were paid by the Department to the same production company.

Department Secretary Mike Mrdak explained that the first was to cover the announcement by the government of the Western Sydney infrastructure package. The second was added when it was decided to broaden the presentation to include what would be developed in forthcoming budgets.

At the time of the Senate estimates, the video’s views on YouTube were at 2,358, and four months later that number has risen to 3,377. That’s a cost to the taxpayer of $25.17 per view.

It’s important to note that YouTube views are counted on a view per person basis, so it is impossible to say how many of those views come from repeat viewers within the department itself. WasteWatch felt bad for the taxpayer, so we contributed to the view count as many times as we could.

The video—which outlines the government’s infrastructure investment, growth process and future planning—is similar to one posted by The Guardian of Anthony Albanese, who highlights very similar points.

The per view cost to the taxpayer for that video: zero dollars.

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