More than $17 million has already been spent on setting up the agency that will enforce Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
The costs of setting up and ‘branding’ the new Clean Energy Regulator – to be established from 2 April – have been revealed by Climate Change departmental officials under questioning from Senator Birmingham in a Senate Budget Estimates hearing this morning.
Officials have detailed that $9.4 million has so far been spent on operating costs, and $8.4 million in capital outlays.
Costs detailed by officials this morning include:
  • $500,000 for board and CEO recruitment
  • $535,000 on the CEO’s salary package
  • $200,000 on agency ‘branding’
  • The engagement of 207 staff to date
  • The engagement of 35 consultants or external contractors
The 207 staff are among 330 expected to be on board by the Regulator’s 2 April start date, with 350 expected to be on board for the 1 July carbon tax start date.
“This is a lot of taxpayer money to be throwing around on extra carbon tax bureaucracy when the Government’s own estimates indicate Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will continue to rise under the carbon tax,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“It is particularly outrageous for $200,000 to be spent on the branding of an agency of this nature, which doesn’t face any competition unless you count the numerous other agencies Labor is establishing to perform various functions under its enormous carbon tax.
“Australian taxpayers will be rightly outraged at their money being thrown around for no environmental benefit, long before the implementation of a tax that will for them drive up the cost of everything yet still see Australia’s emissions increasing.”