I have been debating with myself whether or not to make this post, ever since the announcement of the Royal Commission into the Victorian bushfires was announced. Each time it was mentioned I was sure I heard a figure of $40 million being the cost of the enquiry. No, I thought, I must have misheard the figure — maybe it was actually $4 million.
So now I am confused. Why, because it appears that the Victorian government has allocated $10 million to aid the 7000+ victims of the bushfires (something less than $1,500 per head), but four times that amount to find out why they are victims.
The royal commissioner will have about $100,000 per day to spend during his enquiry. Some quick arithmetic gives the result that the commissioner could employ about 500 people earning average weekly earnings for this amount. On the other hand, most royal commission money is paid to lawyers. If there were 100 lawyers involved in the enquiry, there would be $400,000 per head available to them.
It also crosses my mind that governments are generally very quick to announce royal commissions, but notoriously slow at adopting any recommendations they might make. If we are to spend $40 million on an enquiry it had better be good enough for every last recommendation or suggestion to be adopted without any question from the government at the time.
So, is it only me who is confused?