Something seems cruel about this mob - pretending climate change matters, then "Sorry, you're dropped".
There's that chutzpah again. Remember the greatest moral challenge of our time? We're getting this done, Australians want it?
The Australian reported on Saturday that
It's not hard to understand why. It costs a fortune and it produces nothing except constantly increasing expenses. But what do you make of the calculating cruelty in pretending to care.
The Australian has produced a very easy to read graphic that shows some of those expenses here.
Here's some of Joe Kelly's report.
The department has spent $1.7 million on travel in the first four months of the 2012-13 financial year. During this period, staff took nearly 300 business-class flights with $264 being spent for one SES (senior executive service) employee to access the Qantas Club. The department says its policy is for SES employees to be given access to lounge memberships to "provide a suitable work environment whilst travelling".
For the 2011-12 financial year, the department spent $5.7m on official travel, including airfares, travel allowances, car hire and taxis. About 280 international trips were undertaken by climate change staff over the year at a cost of about $2m. The department yesterday confirmed it had no policy for purchasing carbon offsets for official air travel.
According to the department's policy, all domestic travel undertaken by non-senior executive staff must be at the economy level and senior executives must travel economy on flights from Canberra to Sydney or Melbourne. All staff are allowed to travel business class on international flights.
The Climate Change Department also provides coffee machines, sandwich presses and microwaves to service its staff, with 13 coffee machines costing about $45,000. It regularly buys up to 30 bags of coffee beans at a cost of $795 every three to four weeks in order to "positively impact on staff morale and productivity".
The office in Apia, Samoa, located in the building for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program, supports two staff and is located about 5km from the beach and a nearby golf course at an annual cost to taxpayers of about $33,000.
The department confirmed yesterday that the two staff co-ordinated Australia's engagement in the region and consulted with other Pacific Island governments on programs, but that it had no other international-based office.
The department spent about $139,175 on training expenses in the first four months of the 2012-13 year, including courses for staff on "credit card acquittal", "giving and receiving feedback", "influencing and relationship building" and "leading your team".
It spent about $1.7m in the 2011-12 year on similar training courses and in-house learning, including assistance for staff undertaking study. In one instance, $544 was contributed towards the cost of a diploma in French.
Its spending on advertising costs in the first four months of the 2012-13 financial year was $30,192, with total costs in the 2011-12 financial year coming in at $16.7m.
The department also spent $107,562 on stationery items in the first four months of the 2012-13 financial year. Hospitality costs for the first four months of the 2012-13 financial year were $91,257 while the department racked up a $217,209 bill for 2011-12, including on entertainment and business catering.
I don't think they should have ever set it up. But it seems terribly cruel to promise people jobs and careers, to say this is the way we're going - then sorry, you're dropped. We shouldn't be surprised.