They need how much paper?

johnboy 11 March 2009 40

The Liberal’s Brendan Smyth is outraged to discover the ACT Government is spending $24 million for two years’ “stationary”:

    “It is the equivalent of 250 sheets of paper per person per day, or 9,600 reams of paper every single working day.

    “That’s over four and a half million pieces of paper every day!

It makes you wonder.

UPDATED: Many readers are wondering how the ACT Government functions with a stationery budget going entirely on paper and suspect that pens, markers, toner, etc, etc, might be going on the bill too.

FURTHER UPDATE: Meanwhile the ABC is adding to the comedy of errors confusing Brendan Smyth and Zed Seselja.


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40 Responses to They need how much paper?
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peterh peterh 9:39 am 12 Mar 09

AndyC said :

PsydFX said :

“When we’re spending $46,000 a working day on stationery for 16 thousand public servants then I believe we’re spending too much,” he said.

Quick we need a charity ad.

“For as little as $2.87 a day, you can sponsor an ACT Public Servant. You’re $2.78 a day will bring paper, pens, and post-it notes to those less fortunate than yourself. So do it, do it today, become a Canberra Vision supporter. We desperately need you.”

Can I spend my $2.87 on a schooie at H block? That’ll even buy me 1.36 of the suckers during happy hour on Friday…money well spent I say.

H Block? the hellenic club is well known as a great boardroom isn’t it? don’t forget the memo that would be printed and circulated across the act govt depts re opening times and when happy hour starts…

Thumper Thumper 9:10 am 12 Mar 09

Stanhope had an arrogant rant this morning on the radio along the lines of “how are we to communicate with people?”

of course, at no stage did he actually address the issue.

taninaus taninaus 6:55 am 12 Mar 09

Mr Evil said :

But I thought that the use of computers created the paperless office?

I wish, unfortunately our records act is in the dark ages and everything must be on a paper file – unless in ACTPLA which has a proper electronic system!

I would love to know where these luxurious piles of stationery are – I have certainly never found an area that buys more than the basic items – if you want more than the basic yellow post-it you have to either be the person ordering the stuff or bring it yourself!

I think it is more like others have said – the toner makers are getting rich.

Sleaz274 Sleaz274 12:25 am 12 Mar 09

Personally if I was Mr Smyth I’d be more concerned that ACTION buses costing about $100 million a year and every passenger costs the government about $6 simply to get on. I’d be concerned that in 2008-09 $100 million of recurrent initiatives were introduced which are ongoing with questionable benefits in a vastly changed economic and social climate, that is $100 million extra a year everyone. Why not start reviewing all of those and demand from the government which of these will inevitably receive the chop. I’d be concerned that a territory like ours that receives about $1 billion in tax spends about $3 billion a year and the shortfall is made up through “other revenue streams” which are now going kaput swiftly.

I might even be concerned about the continued use of incremental accounting for a single city which creates it’s own variation of inflation and causes costs to only increase and requires very few savings and no justification for departments to simply spend as much as last year, plus inflation. I might even be concerned that between $300 – $600 million is going to be shifted because capital projects simply can’t be finished in time, even though they are supposed to be urgent of high demand and deliverable within the projected timelines. That is cash that could have been used for any number of purposes which now it can’t be. If I was Mr Smyth I’d be concerned about a rushed “stimulus package” when it would have been far more effective to try and finish the projects already begun rather than flinging another $12 million out the door on questionable grounds of “emerging capacity” within the building and trade industry.

I might even question the sense of a 1% arts spending when record high levels of capital works are being proposed. Want $5 million, that’s $5,000,000.00 back then remove that 1% and set a dollar figure like $300,000 or $20,000 or zero.

If I really wanted to tackle a big fish I might even ask why a government that receives $1 billion in tax a year can’t somehow work out a way to reduce the tax burden on the population, I might even investigate schemes in which genuine reduction of tax through revenue replacement would actually benefit the people I was elected to represent.

Yes all these things would trouble me more than paper and pens. But hey what would I know…

Ryan Ryan 9:14 pm 11 Mar 09

Hahaha.. thats true.

PsydFX said :

taco said :

That sounds fairly reasonable

Well apparently it’s not! Brendan is OUTRAGED.

You’d be outraged too if despite all the complaints about Stanhope, your party still couldn’t manage to win back Government after all these years!

Fiona Fiona 9:13 pm 11 Mar 09

and yet some months we run out of paper, and the colour printer as been… erm stuffed for the whole week…

Deckard Deckard 7:46 pm 11 Mar 09

Ryan said :

i presume they use laser printers in all ACT Government Departments

Well this is the 21st century. I don’t think there’d be too many dot matrix or daisy wheel printers anymore 🙂

But then again this is the ACT Govt, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

AndyC AndyC 6:47 pm 11 Mar 09

PsydFX said :

“When we’re spending $46,000 a working day on stationery for 16 thousand public servants then I believe we’re spending too much,” he said.

Quick we need a charity ad.

“For as little as $2.87 a day, you can sponsor an ACT Public Servant. You’re $2.78 a day will bring paper, pens, and post-it notes to those less fortunate than yourself. So do it, do it today, become a Canberra Vision supporter. We desperately need you.”

Can I spend my $2.87 on a schooie at H block? That’ll even buy me 1.36 of the suckers during happy hour on Friday…money well spent I say.

Mr Evil Mr Evil 5:59 pm 11 Mar 09

I’m wondering if all the paper is for Katy’s rough Budget drafts?

All written in crayon, of course!

Ryan Ryan 5:39 pm 11 Mar 09

i presume they use laser printers in all ACT Government Departments – the cartridges for those suckers add up pretty quickly. For one each of black, magenta, cyan and yellow, that can set you back more than $1,000.

p1 p1 5:02 pm 11 Mar 09

+2 for the Crayon comments.

I would love it if someone could actually put a process in place that enables the use of non-paper reliably. Even if you download a form from the gubmint, you then have to print it out to fill it in, then fax it to them where it gets printed out again.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 4:29 pm 11 Mar 09

amarooresident2 said :

neanderthalsis said :

I’d be more inclined to question the need for 16 thousand Public servants to run what is essentially a local council.

A local council with 330,000 thousand people, the seat of the federal parliament and state responsibilities. The comparison is not valid.

320000 is significantly less than the 524 000 of the Gold Coast City Council and the 1 000 000 of the Brisbane City Council (the largest Council in population terms in Aus and they have 7000 council employees). True, the ACT Govt has schools (some that are still open) hospitals (with poor facilities and long waiting lists) and a prison with no prisoners…

As for being the seat of federal parliament, the NCA looks after the physical presence of the federal parliament here. The ACT govt has little to do with the big boys in the grown up government.

amarooresident2 amarooresident2 4:03 pm 11 Mar 09

I’d bet Brendans share of the stationery budget is significantly more that $2.87 a day.

Maybe he could set an example by never faxing out a press release ever again. Tool.

amarooresident2 amarooresident2 3:55 pm 11 Mar 09

neanderthalsis said :

I’d be more inclined to question the need for 16 thousand Public servants to run what is essentially a local council.

A local council with 330,000 thousand people, the seat of the federal parliament and state responsibilities. The comparison is not valid.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 3:10 pm 11 Mar 09

I’d be more inclined to question the need for 16 thousand Public servants to run what is essentially a local council.

PsydFX PsydFX 2:49 pm 11 Mar 09

“When we’re spending $46,000 a working day on stationery for 16 thousand public servants then I believe we’re spending too much,” he said.

Quick we need a charity ad.

“For as little as $2.87 a day, you can sponsor an ACT Public Servant. You’re $2.78 a day will bring paper, pens, and post-it notes to those less fortunate than yourself. So do it, do it today, become a Canberra Vision supporter. We desperately need you.”

PsydFX PsydFX 2:40 pm 11 Mar 09

taco said :

PsydFX said :

It’s amazing how insignificant it seems the more you break it down:

…is equivalent to 1 diary, 1 toner cartridge, 6 reams of papers, 10 pens, 4 markers, 5 envelopes, 2 notepads, and 2 post-it note pads per person per year!

That sounds fairly reasonable

Well apparently it’s not! Brendan is OUTRAGED.

taco taco 2:36 pm 11 Mar 09

PsydFX said :

It’s amazing how insignificant it seems the more you break it down:

…is equivalent to 1 diary, 1 toner cartridge, 6 reams of papers, 10 pens, 4 markers, 5 envelopes, 2 notepads, and 2 post-it note pads per person per year!

That sounds fairly reasonable

peterh peterh 2:31 pm 11 Mar 09

Mr Evil said :

But I thought that the use of computers created the paperless office?

oh, i am so sorry…

I thought that you were being serious.

the deforestation caused by the last intact tender – responses by the pallet load would have easily wiped out several large paddocks of trees…

paperless office will only work when they ban printers. (never)

Clown Killer Clown Killer 2:31 pm 11 Mar 09

I’d say that a fair share of that amount would be spent on butchers paper for all the community workshops the government has to run every time it wants to make a decision.

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