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Value for money?

When it was revealed that, on top of his $332,000 salary package and $40,000 accommodation allowance, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson had claimed $77,763 for expenses in his first year, his response was “You’d rather I sit in my office all day?”

He spent $14,562 on cab fares, including almost $3000 for family reunion travel for his partner, claimed for an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop and a $1400 standing desk, spent about $11,000 on business class airfares abroad – although about $2000 of this was reimbursed by groups that hosted him – and $26,000 on domestic fares, including $10,800 for his partner, and $17,800 for meals and other expenses while travelling.

Remember that Mr Wilson had no apparent qualifications for this job, no relevant experience, did not have to apply for the job or go through an interview as the job was never advertised, and came from the IPA who had called for the abolition of the HRC.

His appointment, dictated by George Brandis, led to the sacking of respected Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes because Mr Brandis neglected to provide any extra funding to pay for what has turned out to be a very expensive new position.

The Australian Human Rights Commission declined to supply details of other commissioners’ expenses to see if they were comparable to Mr Wilson’s saying that “Last year the Human Rights Commissioner completed two major national consultations which required travel to remote, rural and regional Australia as well as capital cities.”

Tim started his job campaigning for the repeal of section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act. That didn’t go so well. His other major campaign has been for LGBTI rights. That’s not looking too good either. Whenever asked about children in indefinite detention in one of the many interviews he gives on the ABC and Skynews, he spouts the government line of “deaths at sea – stop the boats”. The children are indeed forgotten.

Tim’s recent appearance on Q&A confirmed his role as government mouthpiece when he completely abandoned his previous idea of “shining a light on dark places” through freedom of speech in favour of a strident attack on the ABC, an institution that his former employer, the IPA, also wants abolished.

I would like to see an investigation into the appointment of Mr Wilson and a productivity analysis of his work. I would also like to see a detailed list of those expenses to justify their inclusion as official business. This man is using a significant portion of the HRC’s funding. Is this the best way to spend $450,000?

 

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54 comments

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  1. babyjewels10

    What has he returned to the Australian taxpayers for the money? Nothing as far as I know. Certainly not hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of benefit. Just another arrogant, “thumb your nose at the taxpayers” entitled public servant.

  2. Tony Magrathea (@dickybeacholdie)

    time this rot was really stopped for all of them. if its a legitimate expense claim it on tax and get a tax credit
    public servants fair enough but political appointments like this one?

  3. donwreford

    I would prefer Tim Wilson to stay in his office all day rather than swan around outside his office costing taxpayers exorbitant expenses having a good time at some ones else’s expense? how do these creeps get these jobs? is it the old school network?

  4. Bilal

    This appointment, combined with the ideological smell surrounding it, is enough to destroy the remaining legitimacy of this government. The damage being done to our institutions by short sighted political opportunism is immense. It will take a long time for our country to recover from these extreme right wing radical morons holding the purse strings. It was idiots in control who brought Greece down. We must not allow them to do the same to us.

  5. vivienne29

    It was always a Job for the Boy – expensive one at that. They had to sack the disability commissioner to help pay for this mad little jumped up ponce from the IPA.

  6. Mic the Heretic

    Well, he certainly seems to be achieving strident change in the area of “Right for Himself” but what about the rest of Australia?

  7. randalstella

    Investigation into the merry japes and luxurious swanning of extreme right-wing buddy boys will not happen – if it is left up to the institutionalised counterpoints in the political system. Labor will not touch it. They might expose things they want kept hidden.
    It will have to be via an independent ICAC. So,let’s call on this body to get inquiry underway.
    Can’t seem to find the Fed ICAC number.
    Maybe Bill S. could help. Might be at lunch with Johnnie Roskam at the moment.

  8. lawrencewinder

    Yep, an audit into Timmy “The Twat-Freedom-Man’s” productivity would be good, too. Let this pretend libertarian and “advocate” for every-ones right to be a bigot justify his snout in the trough at the taxpayer’s expanse!

  9. captain51

    And when Freedom Boy needed to speak out for freedom of speech, he has been MIA

  10. captain51

    Are not ALL public service positions supposed to be advertised and filled by appointment?

  11. Bernard Ryan

    Yes, stay in your office all day and do the job the public expects you to do.

  12. Glenn

    So, to all of the commentators above, what are the people going to do about it? Or for that matter, what CAN the people do about it? In some other parts of the world, these kind of excesses would have been stopped months ago or as soon as they became plainly obvious. All the while this bunch of moronic psychopaths are further entrenching themselves by slowly and stealthily ( to some ) eroding our freedoms and long fought for basic rights and trashing them. There is no doubt in my mind that in the not too distant future, there will be a major ” terrorist ” abomination committed on our soil. As the borders are now tighter than a drum, it will be born and incubated within, mostly incited by the rhetoric of abbott and his nazi cohorts. Then comes a state of emergency, followed by marshall law. Then we can brand the decenters and nay sayers as being unAustralian and lock them up for sedition or treason. It is time to take this message to our pubs, clubs, dinner parties and other meetings, both public and private to make the unaware aware! We have one election left, IMHO, before turning back is no longer an option. Call me a screaming leftie, l really don’t care. I am a proud Australian.

  13. helenmarg

    on Q and A he was like a petulant child towards everyone also carrying on about how biased the ABC is .BY the way the LNP steve Ciobo was the person who wanted JULIA GILLARDS thoat to be slit and Graeme Morris wanted her kicked to death.What a disgusting lot.I meant THROAT TO BE slit

  14. gangey1959

    I would have thought that tones and that other dickhead brandis could have paid for a “jobs for the boys” position out of their own pockets, rather than charge Australia’s taxpayers, especially when their chosen monkey has no moral compass when it comes to his expense account. And as for his partner, she (or he???) can either pay their own way, or stay at home.

  15. Mercurial

    And what’s really annoying about the appointment of Freedom Boy is its brazen partiality: imagine the media reaction if an ALP government had appointed a partisan, former employee of an extreme left wing think tank to a position in an organisation it (and he) wants abolished; without following any due process, interview or justification.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Mercurial,

    Number 56 in the Coalition’s “Little book of big Labor waste” was…

    “The Gillard Labor Government has been appointing a raft of former Labor Premiers and Ministers to boards over the last two years. These include former Premiers John Brumby, Anna Bligh, Mike Rann and Geoff Gallop. If there is one thing Julia Gillard has implemented successfully, it is an employment program for her Labor mates. Labor should be focused on creating jobs for Australia, not for ex-Labor Premiers and Ministers.”

    At least those appointments were people who had some relevant experience beyond being a Young Liberal and I would question what experience Sophie Mirabella had with building submarines.

  17. Brad

    He should be put in a dingy and towed to Manus Island for indefinite detention.

  18. Kaye Lee

    So I heard ME. Cathy McGowan co-sponsored the marriage equality bill and the Libs were dead pissed off at giving her a platform like that so I guess Sophie will be running on a platform of discrimination. Considering the letters that appeared in the local paper when her staffer asked for letters of support before the last election, I’m not sure Sophie will be successful. Gotta say they gave me a laugh though.

  19. Marilyn

    The second most expensive non-job in Australia today, the first being Abbott’s as he spends all his time twiddling his thumbs looking for a policy.

  20. Möbius Ecko

    And why not go back into the Liberal party as a reward for doing the job she was overpaid for in destroying the ASC. Australian Defence analysts are laying the blame at the government and DMO for the AWD blow outs, which is why the government went into an all out attack on Australian shipbuilding, as is always their way to shift the blame when it squarely lies with themselves, and spend huge amounts of resources (public money of course) and media capital in doing so.

  21. JeffJL

    Helenmarg. Steve Ciobo did not say that he wanted Prime Minister Gillard’s throat slit. He made the comment that one of the Labor MPs would be first in line to slit her throat. Not appropriate, but far from saying he wanted the PMs throat slit.

    What I noticed the most from Tim Wilson’s appearance on Q&A was how he followed the governments attack plan re Zaky Mallah’s appearance. Even to using the same click bait slogans. I got to thinking that he was sitting in on the LNP party meetings with Bronwin Bishop.

    $77k may seem high for expenses but it is unfair in dumping on him without a comparison with the other commissioners’. Until the other commissioners’ expenses are released (or leaked) there is enough to write about Mr Wilson and his performance in the job (and how he got it).

  22. Sam

    It’s fairly certain that even if Abbott somehow weasels his way to another term in office, that Sophie Mirabella has no serious chance of winning Indi back for them right?

    Sorry to sidetrack the conversation but I was just thinking about it, since her name was brought up here as well.

  23. Jason Virgo

    We should question why he is pictured presumably with his partner. We should also think if the same would be done to a typical family involved in public service. I despise Mr Wilson but I also despise dog whistling homophobia.

  24. crypt0

    So far Freedom boy has cost us about $450,000
    And in exchange for this, the long suffering taxpayer has got …???
    Forgive my ignorance, but I can think of absolutely nothing.
    Not even cheap at half the price.

  25. olddavey

    “shining a light on dark places”

    Any dark places Timmie felt like shining a light on would be somewhere I’d be doing my best to stay away from.

  26. Trent

    Was is necessary to put a photo of him and his partner as the main image? Certainly looking at other articles on this site about an individual I can’t seem to find any that show a couple. Why is it necessary to show a gay couple? For example, if you look at an article on this site about Joe Hockey that talks about him living in his wife’s house you will just see an image of him. Is the article try to make a subtle point about gay people? If not why use that image?

  27. Kaye Lee

    Considering citizens have paid tens of thousands of dollars for Mr Wilson’s partner to accompany him everywhere he goes, he is relevant. If you consider what is a very nice photo homophobic dog whistling then are you suggesting that same sex couples should not be seen together? Is it dog whistling to show photos of the PM with his daughters when pointing out how much we pay for them to accompany him or the advantages they receive?

    Here is one such article

    An Open Letter to Frances Abbott

    and here is one showing Hockey and his wife

    Joe Hockey Manages to Smear Himself

    and Tony and Margie

    How to use women to get you out of the deep excrement other women got you into

  28. Florence nee Fedup

    Tim, yes I would like to see you sit in office all day. With no access to phone or WWW would even be better. At least there you can do no harm. Allow the rest of the commissioners to get on with the job.

    See you resign would be even better.

  29. Lock

    In actual fact we should lock this idiot in his office, what a waste.

  30. Florence nee Fedup

    Marilyn, Abbott has no interest in policy. Only in thinking up tomorrows stunt. One wonders if he has any knowledge of the white papers he is releasing each day. Sounds like someone who has learnt the lines, parrot fashion to get him through the day, plus couple motherhood statements and three word slogans.

    His only in interest is getting re elected, sop he can continue with changing the country with his dogma of neoliberalism.

    Abbott finds this easy, as he doesn’t have to build but demolish all that is in place.

    His massive cut of green, black and other coloured tape has disguised most of the NGO and community based schemes that were in place. People are only now woke up to the fact, most have gone.

    Seems the only way we can have a flourishing economy In their eyes, is for the majority to live or near poverty.

  31. Terry

    Never in all my life have I seen such a sook as poor little Tim Wilson during his recent appearance on Q & A, his inability to engage in meaningful discussion so glaringly exposed by other panellists, to the extent that I thought he was actually going to burst into tears and bawl for his Mummy. The pontificating, ponderous Paul Kelly was too busy defending the outrageous hypocrisy of the Murdoch press to pass the tissues or wipe little Timmy’s nose.

  32. xiaoecho

    Jason Virgo and Trent,

    I do not see how posting a photo of Wilsons partner is ‘homophobia’ It is widely known that Wilson is gay. A good teal of his expenses were ‘family reunion’ expenses. I took this to mean that government funds were paid for Wilsons partner to join him. This is not legitimate and the fact that Wilson is in a same sex union is neither here nor there.

    During the ‘Burka’ debate last year, things became so ridiculous the very mention of the word ‘Burka’ in some contexts was cried as hate speech. Lets not get hysterical and conflate questioning his excessive ‘family reunion’ expenses with homophobia merely because his partner is same sex.

  33. The AIM Network

    I do not see how posting a photo of Wilsons partner is ‘homophobia’

    We agree.

  34. Pingback: He spent $14,562 on cab fares, Value for money? That’s the Peter Slipper question. | olddogthoughts

  35. corvus boreus

    Since some of the huge and varied claims to public expense made by Mr Wilson were on personal behalf of his (same sex) partner, I think the use of the ‘happy couple photo’ was entirely appropriate. It was valid in situational context.

    Ps, I agree with JeffJL that the ‘slit her throat’ comment made by Mr Ciobo, although grotesquely phrased, was observational rather than any kind of threat or recommendation of violent action.
    The same cannot be said for the comments of former senior Liberal staffer and influential corporate lobbyist Grahame Morris, the other neo-con guest on ‘Zaky’s’ Q&A.
    Morris specifically stated that people “should be out there kicking her to death”, referring to then PM Julia Gillard.
    That was, literally speaking, a clear recommendation of homicidal action against a senior elected representative.

  36. concerned

    “The Australian Human Rights Commission declined to supply details of other commissioners’ expenses to see if they were comparable to Mr Wilson’s saying that “Last year the Human Rights Commissioner completed two major national consultations which required travel to remote, rural and regional Australia as well as capital cities.”

    Is there any chance of getting information about other commissioners’ expenses?

  37. anon

    not bad for a faggot, huh

  38. Michael Taylor

    Anon, that was inappropriate.

  39. Kaye Lee

    It is disturbing to find people so concerned about Tim’s sexuality (or my choice of photo) that they neglected what the article is about.

    From what I can see, Tim has far and away exceeded expense claims from other Commissioners. I also question the “family reunion” aspect of his claim. I know politicians also claim for that but Tim isn’t forced to be away from home for extended periods of time and I can’t find record of other Commissioners making any such claims.

  40. Lee

    These stopped the boats lies have got to stop. The LNP hasn’t stopped the boats and they never will. Thousands of people are drowning in the Mediterranean sea.

  41. Kaye Lee

    A new analysis by Fairfax Media shows the 226 federal parliamentarians racked up more than $50 million in taxpayer-funded expenses in just six months.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/coalition-mp-ken-odowd-claimed-public-money-to-attend-the-rugby-20150705-gi48kg?&utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Afac-14omn0013-optim-nnn%3Anonpaid-25%2F06%2F2014-social_traffic-all-organicpost-nnn-smh-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_facebook

  42. concerned

    It means that each federal parliamentarian spent about $221 238 in just six months, or $36 873 per month! Unbelievable!

  43. David Bruce

    Rorting by Labour fades into insignificance! Now I am beginning to wonder how many other LNP ministers are card carrying members of the National Socialists?

  44. morhpeous

    So much for the Age of entitlement ending! More taxpayers money used for propaganda purposes for this ‘government”. Appalling !!!!

  45. Phi

    Good grief Kaye Lee – those are gobsmacking figures.

    I get the impression Tim Wilson can do anything he so chooses, and he can indulge any amount on expenses because he knows that his appointment is political – Abbott needs him.

    Nothing, not even a case of proven corruption will shift his useless bum from his chair – other than the pending LNP electoral wipeout. After which, he and many others will answer to a series of high level commissions and inquiries at the behest of the Australian people whose patience and good will have been so sorely tested by this obnoxious, incompetent and corrupt LNP.

  46. Kaye Lee

    In his words … Tim Wilson’s views

    On discrimination: “You have a human right of freedom of association, you have a right of speech; I am not sure I am convinced there is a human right against discrimination, as abhorrent as it is.”

    On hate speech: “People have a right to free speech. They do not have a right not to be offended or insulted.”

    On free speech: “Understandably, we all go squeamish when we are called to defend the principle of free speech. We are never called to defend it when people say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, only when individuals say something that at least someone doesn’t like … But the solution is more speech, not less. We should preserve the right to speak out, mock them and ridicule them for the stupidity of their comments or the hate in their heart.”

    On the ‘Bolt law’: “Irrespective of what any individual thinks about how 18C [of the Racial Discrimination Act] has been used in the past, it should be repealed … it fundamentally undermines the human right to free speech.”

    On the Human Rights Commission: “When there was a giant attack on [freedom of speech] the Human Rights Commission was completely missing in action and needs to be held to account for that.”

    On same-sex marriage: “Same-sex couples are far more likely to be positive contributors to the tax and transfer system because they are less likely to have children. Similarly, people in relationships are less likely to draw from the social welfare system. But despite paying a disproportionately higher contribution, they don’t get extended the same civil rights. It’s an extension of the ‘no taxation without representation’ argument. The same civil obligations should be matched with the same civil rights.”

  47. corvus boreus

    ‘Freedom Commissioner’ Tim Wilson on peaceful, legal civil demonstrations;
    “all people who think freedom of speech = freedom 2 b heard, time wasters … send in the water cannons”.

  48. Ann McGuinness

    I am so disgusted that this man parachuted into a high paying job at the expense of a very capable Commissioner Graham Innes can so blatantly help himself to taxpayers money.The age of entitlement is definitely not over.

  49. Awabakal

    This boy, is the new movement, the takeover by the left.

    The blatant status signaling over the Confederate flag in the last few days has me about ready to cash it in. I get it. You’re a really good person. Southern whites who keep that rebel flag around are really bad people, and so is anyone who defends them. Thank God that he sent that young man to kill nine people so that you’d have an opportunity to show everyone else what a good person you are, how much better-bred you are than Southern white trash.

    God, it feels so good to collectively blame this crime on people we hate, doesn’t it? Can’t blame terrorism on Muslims. Can’t blame a disastrously high black murder rate on black people. Can’t blame single motherhood or child murder on women. Can’t blame a degenerate entertainment industry on Jews. But by golly, those toothless hicks down in Dixie with those rebel flags and their racism…now there’s a real out-group we can all be united against. Can’t have an in-group without an out-group to posture against in order to maintain status. Sorry, Southern whites, you’re it, and dead black people are just another way for us to gain advantage against you.

    You all disgust me. You’re disgusting people. Nine innocent people are dead, and all you can think about is writing some self-important pseudo-philosophical blather about how much Southerners suck and how they all need to feel real bad and to some degree personally guilty about this.

    I’m not a Southerner at all. I like to imagine heaven as one endless March to the Sea under the blessed visage of William T Sherman. But if we Yankees don’t have to feel real bad about the wreckage of Detroit, about the depredations of the financial industry, about the degradation of all that is good and right spewing out of New York TV studios, and about everything else that goes wrong up here, then you can go right straight to hell if you want me to join you in your preening little parade over how much better we are than them.

    Four white people tied up, murdered, and burned in DC? No big deal. Talking about black-on-white crime gets you disapproval from the people you want to impress. It’s probably racist of me to even know that happened. Five people shot in church in Baton Rouge? Who cares! Killer was black! Eight dead in Tyrone, Missouri? Gross, they were all small-town whites. There’s no angle for me to work there, no way to let everyone know just how righteous I really I am.

    Don’t act like your blog posts and Facebook statuses are about racism, or about blacks, or about the killing. They’re about you. I see it right through it, and you disgust me. You are disgusting, loathsome people, and there is no depth to which you will not stoop to morally posture.

    From: http://therightstuff.biz/2015/06/23/a-yankee-loses-his-shit/

  50. Steve

    We hear and see plenty of rhetoric across all forms of media , social and otherwise . Yet nothing changes like dogs pooh on your nature strip ; there last week still there this week. Reading similar comments from different textured stories all promoting the same despondent reaction through the masses . When do WE implement change ? When do WE stand up and say enough this must change NOW ! . I am positive that there is enough of US Australians now wanting significant changes made to how and who governs us that we can force change very quickly .It’s blindingly obvious that the current crap crop of way overpaid politicians are mainly there to benefit themselves and their mates and NOT the Australian public .
    So instead let’s implement a solid change right now , let’s nominate a figure head , eg. AIMN , change.org , and get this ball rolling , the longer we wait the more money is wasted on these greedy self appointed leaders and their overpriced appointed ‘brothers in arms’ . I’m tired of shouting and pointing my finger from the stands with the rest of you at the players on the field , I want to jump the fence and change the rules with the rest of you.
    I am aware of my rambling and my passion for change gets the better of me most times , but like most of you – the bag is almost full- and we have a unique chance to turn this around for the better , for everyone .

  51. james smith

    So we’re paying for his gay lifestyle? ?

    To use the ugly populist rhetoric of the Prime Minister.

    Hilarious!

    He’s sort of cute …..I think my glbti friends would be offended by my remark.

  52. james smith

    When Wilson was director of the I.P.A Andrew Bolt’s son was a research assistant

    My assumption is that to repeal the racial discrimination was a great job to appease the narcissistic and bullying Bolt in his court case.

    Tim will play identity politics with his gay status for many more entitilements …his defacto role as a s.o.g.i representative is pretty interesting and a case in point.

    Watch this space…

    Yes his partner’s photo is very legitimate within that context.

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