The Gillard Government spent nearly $17,000 of taxpayers’ money on a lavish party to launch its Carbon Cop, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
The cost of the 4 April 2012 party on the banks of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin has been revealed through FOI applications made by Senator Birmingham to the Clean Energy Regulator or ‘Carbon Cop’.
Documents reveal that: 
  • $7,848 was spent with Blackhawk Logistics to hire a marquee, stage, champagne glasses, wine glasses, table linen, etc;
  • $8,987.50 was spent with Sitting Ducks catering on pastries, cakes, a beverage package including Wolf Blass drinks for 400 people, 15 waiters (five serving each of three separate bar areas) and a $600 decorated chocolate cake;
  • The Government claims not to have a list of attendees, but that invitations were distributed to an email list titled “DCCEE – Clean Energy Regulator All Staff” that would have included staff from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator and two divisions of the then Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and 
  • Also invited were “senior staff from the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Portfolio”, Greg Combet and his ministerial staff and Mark Dreyfus and his ministerial staff. 
“Taxpayers hurt by the carbon tax through higher electricity prices will be appalled at having footed this extravagant bill for Labor’s Carbon Cop to celebrate its own establishment at taxpayer expense,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“It seems the only expense spared by the Gillard Government on this lavish party was that no formal invitations were issued, leaving no accountability on how many people attended let alone who was specifically invited.
“Labor may have hired Sitting Ducks Catering to provide the chardonnay and party pies, but the foolishness behind holding an event like this just leaves them as sitting ducks for taxpayer outrage.
“Having even splurged $600 on a decorated cake, Labor’s carbon tax celebration literally takes the cake for taxpayer funded self indulgence.”