Labor Launches 'Liberal Waste Watch' Report With $400,000 Koala Claim

17/03/2016 12:15 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Josh Butler/HuffPost Australia

CANBERRA -- The Labor Party has published an encyclopaedia of "Liberal Waste" -- aptly titled the 'Wastepedia' -- to highlight what they see as unnecessary and frivolous government spending.

Labor's self-invented Waste Watch committee launched the 30-page booklet and a comprehensive accompanying website by self-appointed chair Pat Conroy on Thursday. In the documents, Conroy outlined hundreds of millions of dollars of government spending he alleges to be a "waste" since the Coalition came to power, including:

  • $20,000 spent by former treasurer Joe Hockey on Budget night parties (here and here);
  • Bronwyn Bishop's infamous chartered helicopter flights (here);
  • $20,000 of "drumming workshops" for immigration department staff (here);
  • Thousands of dollars on fine dining and meals;
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars on a table for the G20 (here);
  • $627,000 on taxis for the G20 (here);
  • Millions on tablet devices (here and here);
  • and $1.3 million on medals for the Australian Border Force (here)

Among the most amusing entries on the alphabetical 'Taxpayer's Guide To Liberal Waste' booklet include a total of $400,000 on "events featuring koalas and other marsupials" spent by Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott. The total includes a reported $133,000 to fly four koalas to Singapore Zoo, and a tour of Kangaroo Island with foreign diplomats which included photos with koalas.

Also on the list was a $6000 trip George Brandis took on a Venice water taxi.

You don’t need a $16,000 bookshelf to put this book on...

Posted by Liberal Waste Watch on Wednesday, 16 March 2016

The claims come from Freedom of Information requests and questions in writing submitted by Conroy, as well as published media reports. A full list of references is provided on the website.

"Everything the Government does is effectively paid for by the taxpayer, so it’s reasonable to expect that they should be held account for every decision that they make," Conroy said.

"I produced this material as a bit of a reminder of the decisions these Liberals have made over the last two and a half years."

For the record, Conroy made clear that the booklet "was printed using Printing and Communications Entitlements at a cost of $330 including GST."

Check out the whole website, and list of claims, here.

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