DUTTON’S DEPARTMENT BLOWS BUDGET ON ENTERTAINMENT AND EXECUTIVE OFFICES WHILST SLASHING BORDER PROTECTION

THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BLAIR

MATT KEOGH MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BURT, WASTE WATCH SPOKESPERSON

It’s been revealed that Peter Dutton’s mega Department and relevant agencies have spent over $450,000 on corporate hospitality and a further $100,000 on executive office upgrades in a single year.
 
Is this overspending one of the reasons why the Australian Border Force fleet had to stop patrols to save money on fuel? Is it the reason why Peter Dutton cut frontline ABF staff at Australian airports over the Christmas period?
 
The excessive and completely unacceptable spending of taxpayers’ money in the 2017/18 financial year by Dutton’s Department of Home Affairs was revealed by answers to Senate Estimates Questions on Notice by Labor Senator Catryna Bilyk.
 
The $452,922.39 of taxpayers’ dollars spent on corporate hospitality included one dinner worth over $60,000 with representatives of the World Customs Organization in Cairns and another $35,000 event entertaining officials from the Oceania Customs Organisation in Melbourne.
 
Given the inordinate number of events Dutton’s Department has been hosting, they were incapable of answering specific details requested about the functions – such as who attended or details of what the money was actually being spent on, including the food and beverages being served.
 
The money spent on executive office upgrades included $43,000 on storage units, $13,000 on meeting room chairs, close to $9000 on two sofas, and $1400 on a single coffee table.
 
It is unacceptable that Peter Dutton has prioritised spending more than half a million of taxpayers’ dollars on entertainment and office furniture over national security.
 
Why does the Home Affairs Minister think it’s appropriate to put Australia’s border security at risk while allowing his Department to splash the cash?
 
This exorbitant spending follows news the Department of Home Affairs has spent over $2.7 million in external legal services to fight their own departmental staff.
 
Dutton’s incompetence knows no bounds and it’s clear he is incapable of managing his portfolio – why is Scott Morrison still trusting him with unprecedented powers over Australia’s national security agencies?