Is this the most bizarre $133,000 spent by the federal government? 143



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Welfare, education, social services, healthcare and the armed forces are all logical areas of federal government spending. When the government directs money down these channels, we generally respond pretty positively because we understand why it’s being spent here. Yesterday, a government expense that is costing tax payers $133,100 had people scratching their heads because we just can’t get our minds around this one, particular expense.

According to the Daily Mail, the government has loaned – not gifted, only loaned – four koalas to Singapore Zoo to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations with the country. Paddle, Chan, Pelita and Idalia will remain in the newly built enclosure for the next 10 months, where they are expected to become an extremely popular attraction. However the costs in quarantine procedures (that is likely to take months), the zoo staff training, medical tests, check ups and paper work come to the heft figure of $133,100.

Now I’m an animal lover, 100%! I can understand how this may influence our tourism positively and I understand that the money needs to be spent on keeping these animals safe and healthy throughout the trip… But is this just a bit excessive?

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has defended the cost, telling Fairfax that the tourism makes it worth it. “The expenditure is modest in comparison with traditional tourism advertising and marketing budgets yet is expected to yield enormous benefits in terms of increased tourist numbers to Australia,” she said.

So tell us, what do you think? Are the government making a good decision in doing this? Do you think it’s important we share around Australian natives with other countries like this to increase our tourism? Or are their other ways that could do better? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. $133,100 to keep four little Australians healthy in Singapore is a lot better than the billions spent causing death in Iraq. Our furry ambassadors are better peacemakers than any politician. Yes. I’m happy endorse this in-extravagant exercise in goodwill and tourism.

  2. Yes they are beautiful little Australians , keep them in Australia where they belong , want to see one then come to Australia and spend some money here , yes it is a waste of money to send them to Singapore , better spent on other things , not just pensions .

  3. If any country wants to display our animals and they are going to treat them well and with respect I say..great.. but let them pay the cost.. this is just more waste from this Government so they can give themselves a pat on the back

    1 REPLY
    • If tourism increases (while the reef still exists) $133 grand is dirt cheap advertising. The Australian Government Statutory Authority tasked with the promotion of Australia as an international tourism destination spends millions trying to increase tourism.

  4. Why is Singapore not picking up this cost!They will be making money out of it no doubt

    4 REPLY
  5. What pissed me off most was hearing on the news last night that;
    Quote “Julia Bishop has given a gift of four koalas to the Singaporean government ” unquote.
    If Julia Bishop gave them as a gift then Julia Bishop can pay for them.

    2 REPLY
  6. I t would be far cheaper to put those 4 cute little koalas on the old age pension and let them stay here, they would not need rent assistance..just give them a tree 🙂

    1 REPLY
    • This comment made me smile – thank you

  7. Why does this site try to stir up trouble when there isn’t any? We have had pandas loaned from China. Many countries do this. All of this negativity feeds those who can see nothing positive with our government or country. Sometimes a dose of reality pills would help the negative people to see the world as it really is and thank God that we live in Australia, with all its faults and failings.

    23 REPLY
    • I agree, it’s about time some people counted their blessings instead of the constant whinging. I am soooo over it.

    • it is called discussing current news topics, I saw this on the news last night.. SAS is not making things up, they tell us what is happening in our country and we all have a right to an opinion, either 4 or against..if you don’t like the topic..don’t read it

    • we don’t want any issue affecting our country to be shrouded in secrecy..far better is is all out in the open and discussed..we do not even want to be Like North Korea or China

    • Can’t see that this is “stiring up trouble.” I guess you can only please some of the people some of the time.

    • Found the article interesting as I did not know about native animal loaning to encourage tourism. Good idea when you look at it as we only have tourism and mining here to keep us afloat. Can’t compete with China with manufacturing.

    • Morvyth and Marjorie if your so unhappy with this this website, why do you come here? just to whine?

    • Hi everyone, we do our best to provide a place for discussion about current affairs issues and things that we believe are relevant to over 60s! We don’t mean any harm and yes, we do sometimes touch on the controversial issues but we do our best to write about these with the highest integrity. Starts at 60 is here as a place where every over 60 feels safe, happy and comfortable to express their opinions and engage in positive conversations 🙂

    • it ok we know that Starts at 60’s when the topics get to uncomfortable for Liberal voters to handle they scream, but they have the same option that those who vote for other political candidates have put their across and convince us why we are wrong !! thanks for that starts at 60’s

    • The world and Australia is full of controversy, and discussion is good for problem solving. I have no problem letting people know I dont agree with them – yes even on SAS! Disagreement and discussion is what solves problems or assists understanding – its the name calling and judgemental assumptions that I see people committing that riles me.

    • The problem, Rebecca is the Laba Pardy Bias. The site reads like Fairfax press. It isn’t even subtle. That’s what is so amusing.

    • Hahahahaha. So funny. No one believes that Rebecca, not even you. All your little generals are paid up members of the Laba Pardy.

    • stop trolling ben Watts your not even over 60 and how many names have you got? its is not appropriate for you and these Liberal to be rude to Rebecca

    • Ben Watts, if you don’t like the site just go away. We don’t need idiots like you. There are 100,000 people who are grateful for SAS, so bugger off!!!!!

    • No need to become abuse Fran Spears. Or is that just what Laba Pardy people are good at?

    • Ben Watts, I am not usually abusive. And calling you an idiot is not what I am really thinking. We all know Rebecca is not 60. You would too if you had read how and why she started this site. You are a very rude, disrespecting person. If Laba Pardy is supposed to be Labor Party, then I’m guilty. Doesn’t mean I don’t have fair and honest opinions and I am willing to bet there are just as many Liberal supporters on this site. It is not who you vote for but how you feel and keeping in touch and discussing things that interest you at 60 and beyond. So if you think I have been abusive, I don’t really care. If you had half the brain of the founder of this site, your opinion might matter. If you don’t like the site, stop reading it and if you think saying this stuff makes you tough, better men than you have tried and failed to belittle SAS.

    • He is obviously not 60 years old, what 60 year old calls such childish name and I don’t think being rude to Rebecca is either smart or nice.. Morvyth you should be ashamed of yourself for starting this..Rebecca does not deserve this abuse and yes we are aware she is not 60 years old, many of us have watched her tv interviews.. we all have hours of fun here for free, if your not happy..move on

    • I am sorry. I have rephrased what I said Ben, but I mean every word. I have been called way worse on this site, so not interested in you being rude to the founder…..

  8. Good morning! The sun is shining and it is going to be a lovely day!

    5 REPLY
    • Good morning to you too, Heidrun. It is a very cold eighteen degrees where I live in the Top End, N.T. but it’s going to be a beautiful day here as well

    • Cold here but the sun is shining. Just been out and pruned all the rose bushes.

      1 REPLY
      • Cold and cloudy here in Griffith. I’ve been out in my garden checking on the azaleas, camellia, miniature roses and hydrangea I replanted yesterday. All looking good. I think letting the koalas go to Singapore is lovely. It only cost each person in Oz .6c each 🙂

    • Good morning – yes I see its still morning – sun is out but its still a cold day. Dont you feel for Sue O’Keefe who has to put up with a cold 18 degrees – some days where I live I would love a warm 18 degrees lol!

  9. Singapore should be able to pay all costs especially as they benefit from Corporate taxes that should be paid in Australia but goes to Singapore instead. Julie Bishop is fully aware of this as is most Australians who bother to keep up with current affairs. Let the Singaporeans look at koalas on the Internet!

    1 REPLY
    • Tourism is vital for Aust. It employs hundreds of thousands of people and there would be a very large tourism advertising budget from which I’m sure this $133,000 is coming from. We need tourists and if the koalas’ presence can help, good.

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