News

DFAT sends 23 staff to Paris to learn about saving money

IS it possible that sometimes you need to spend money to save money?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade seems to hope so, after it sent 23 officers from Canberra to Paris to attend a department pow-wow about being more thrifty.

They were flown on business class return travel.

Fairfax reports that while DFAT has not confirmed the cost of the flights, it estimates that the flights alone cost at least $175,000, and that's assuming the department booked the cheapest possible flights.

The group stayed in the four-star Mercure Paris Centre Eiffel Tower Hotel, where even basic rooms start at $530 per night.

Fairfax estimates the total cost for the two-day trip cost taxpayers about $215,000, so officers could be taught by Australia's ambassador to France Stephen Brady.

There is no indication as to why the lessons could not have been taught by video conferencing.

A DFAT spokeswoman has said because the event included a majority of staff based in Europe, holding it in Paris was cheaper than holding the conference in Australia.

The September jaunt for Australian public servants is likely to jar with taxpayers who on Tuesday were told not to expect a wage increase any time soon.

Worker wages in the past 12 months increased by only 2%, the lowest ever seen since the data collection began in the late 1990s.

Topics:  dfat executives pay



Councillor's stern warning to latest Goondoon St vandals

Most recent vandalism and destruction on Goondoon St.

Councillor says disrespect toward property affects ratepayers most.

B2B runner trains for week-long desert ultramarathon

WORTHY CAUSE: Gladstone runner Anna Farmer ran with a pack to prepare for her charity race in Utah.

Local runs 8km event to prep for Grand to Grand Ultramarathon.

Rural school gets brand new tuck shop

TUCKING IN: Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher (front) with Ambrose State School principal Andrew Collis and students (L-R) Angus Gordon, Emerson Weir, Tahli Westwood, Nicholas Hiron, Olivia Geiger and Charlotte Pomeroy.

Ambrose State School will soon be able to host functions.

Local Partners

Survivor twist bound to shock

TARA Pitt benefited from a shock twist on Australian Survivor, but will everyone be happy? She’s bracing for a viewer backlash.

The Block goes back to school with gorgeous kids rooms

Ronnie and Georgia's winning kids bedroom in a scene from The Block.

ONE magical bedroom received the first perfect score of the season.

A prince is sailing around the Whitsundays

Prince of Denmark Frederik is racing on Wild Oats in the Whitsundays.

Rumours circulating about where the princess is

What's on the small screen this week

Rob Collins and Jessica Marais in a scene from season two of The Wrong Girl.

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

Singer Taylor Swift has deleted her social media accounts

Social media wipeout prompts rumours of a new album

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry