Some time ago I wrote a post about the risibility of taxpayers funding the services of Tourism Australia given the tourism industry wasn’t willing to fund it themselves.
I discussed the absurdity of their high rates of pay and lack of genuine accountability / KPI’s, deliberately confusing general industry trends and metrics with TA activity and performance, not to mention their superb efforts in tackling diversity and climate change.
Tourism Australia as you might recall, costs $170m+ (which granted is chump change) a year of mostly taxpayer money and according to its website, “is the Australian Government agency responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia [my emphasis]”
Given that the Federal Government has closed the borders and more or less shut down international tourism indefinitely, the 215 TA staff who on average earn over $150k, and the executive management team who on average each take home over $450k (comparable to POTUS salary I might add) in employee benefits, have literally nothing to work on. Zero.
This begs the question: why are Tourism Australia employees (doing nothing) not made redundant or at the very least put on JobKeeper like everyone else?
Hundreds of thousands of Australians have lost their jobs in areas of the economy dependent on international travel but not the federal travel bureaucrats. With literally nothing to work on they continue to draw on their obscenely bloated salaries. Why?
Tourism Australia is a perfect example of the arrogance and indifference the governing classes treat the rest of Australia. It is ridiculous to keep funding Tourism Australia as though nothing has happened. Without a vaccine or treatment international tourism will likely remain shut down (or heavily restricted) for years.
I would like to think it is an isolated example but I suspect Tourism Australia is simply the canary in the coal mine. My suspicion is that their are tens of thousands of public servants doing very little in the current environment but remain on full pay. That few notice their absence says volumes about their value add. How many other agencies, departments (either in whole or part) should be made redundant or streamlined in response to changing circumstances?
Apparently “we are are all in this together” but what the case of Tourism Australia demonstrates is that some are a lot more in it than others. “We are all in on it together” would seem more apt when it comes to the governing classes.