Yoga, percussion and acting are not ‘heavy lifting’

Whilst the Prime Minister tells Australians to do the ‘heavy lifting’, his own Ministers are spending exorbitant amounts on staff training that include activities such as yoga, percussion workshops and role playing.

As reported in Fairfax, among the Government’s recent tenders is a contract for $88,000, signed off by former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, to help staff improve their “emotional intelligence”. Another contract, worth more than $20,000, provides public servants with specialised team-building activities, including drumming and “inclusive, non-threatening outdoor activities”.

At the same time as the Government has presided over some of the harshest measures ever proposed to the social security system, former Minister Kevin Andrews also approved an $11,162.40 contract to engage professional actors to “practice” workplace scenarios.

And whilst he helped kill the car industry and cut funding to CSIRO, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane didn’t miss the opportunity to spend $10,909 on a yoga course which releases public sector workers from “the grip of the mind and the senses.”

Chair of Labor’s Waste Watch Committee, Pat Conroy, said the Government should cut down on unnecessary costs, including dubious programs such as these.

“It is the Government that claims we are in a fiscal emergency. If that’s the case why do we have Ministers allowing their departments to spend tens of thousands of dollars on yoga, drumming and professional actors?” Mr Conroy said.

“Where is the fairness in the Government splurging thousands of taxpayer dollars on dubious training exercises, when this could provide around 6,000 visits to the doctor without a GP tax?”

“It’s just a joke. I know the Government has shown us their ability to hold multiple positions on policy, but yoga training is taking it a bit far.”