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



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett was an important part of the Tweed-Byron community.

CALLS go out to celebrate the life of Paul Barrett.

Asbestos fears at Kingscliff holiday park

Visitors to Kingscliff Beach Holiday Park raised asbestos fears after finds in sand.

FEARS have been raised of asbestos in areas where children play.

New marine hub to aid fight against crime

ON THE WATER: Roads and Maritime Services Maritime Director Angus Mitchell and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest.

New $3million marine hub will include a water police border-base.

Local Partners

Community called on to celebrate life of Paul Barrett

CALLS are going out for the community to join and celebrate the life of colourful musician and much-loved Tweed identity Paul Barrett.


Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Become a 'picker' at Byron with vintage fair

Who knows what you could find at this weekend's vintage fair?

THOUSANDS of collectors and sellers will converge on Byron Bay

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Suzi Quatro returns with live supergroup launch

DEVIL GATE: Suzi Quatro will reignite her love affair with Australia in February for the Leather Forever Encore tour.

"It's always been a special place for me”

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!