The Rudd Government is living in an alternate universe, spending millions of taxpayer dollars recruiting ever more staff to manage its twice defeated emissions trading scheme (ETS), Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
Revelations in relation to wasteful hiring practices have been made at Senate Additional Estimates overnight under questioning from Senator Birmingham, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action.
They include that:
  • Of 542 staff currently employed by the Department of Climate Change, including the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, 179 are earmarked for employment in the yet to be established Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority (ACCRA)
  • Of these 179 earmarked staff (more than 70 of whom have nothing to do but work on the systems required to implement the twice defeated ETS), more than 30 have been employed SINCE the second defeat of the legislation on 2 December 2009
  • The Department estimates that by 30 June it will employ ANOTHER 21 staff earmarked for employment in ACCRA, bringing the total to 200 despite the fact that nobody believes the legislation is close to being passed
  • 300 staff are expected to be employed by ACCRA by 2011 at a cost of $57 million
“Despite legislation to establish both the ETS and ACCRA having already been defeated twice, the Government continues to boost its ETS bureaucracy,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“The Rudd Government is clearly living in an alternate universe, with Minister Wong refusing to intervene and stop this wasteful hiring.
“The same Government that has charged ahead with a massive stimulus spending spree despite a better than expected economy is hiring a massive bureaucracy to implement a scheme twice rejected by the Senate already with no immediate prospects of passage.
“The Rudd Government and Minister Wong continue to demonstrate a total incapacity to respond to changing circumstances.
“Not content with plans to slug Australians with its great big new tax, the Rudd Government is already spending millions of taxpayer dollars on staff to administer its money churning machine.
“Minister Wong should call a halt to this gross waste and immediately order a cessation of new hiring.”