For reasons you and I will never fully be able to comprehend, the Morrison Government is handing Scott Cam, mildly problematic host of The Block, a fairly eye-watering $345,000 for a “careers ambassador” role that will last roughly 15 months and not a day more.
The “National Careers Ambassador” role was announced by Employment Minister Michaelia Cash and Prime Minister Scott Morrison back in October, but the Government refused to disclose just how much they were paying Cam for the fairly lightweight role.
Now, however, Employment Department officials have revealed exactly how much he’ll be getting paid, and it’s a fairly staggering sum.
In a spillover estimates hearing held late yesterday, Employment Department officials revealed Cam would be receiving $260,000 in his first 12 months in the role, and a further $85,000 in the second. Given the role is only expected to cover 15 months total, that makes it an $85,000 payday for just 3 months “work” in the second year.
At the time of its announcement, Cash refused to disclose these amounts, claiming it was “commercial in confidence,” which is one of those magical politician phrases that means precisely fuck all.
According to Cash at the time, Cam’s role as National Careers Ambassador would see him “work with us to really get the word message out” regarding vocational education. Cash asserted she would be “out and about with Scott attending high-profile events” as part of his role.
Since 2014, the Coalition Government – in its various forms – has underspent on vocational education to the tune of $919 million. That includes an underspend of $214 million in the 2018-19 financial year alone. That withheld cash has played a large role in reducing the number of Australians in trade apprenticeships by 150,000 since 2013.
Despite that, the Government has seen fit to hand TV host Scott Cam a $345,000 windfall to “get the message about” about vocational education, with Cash citing the fact that Cam was a “former apprentice around 40 years ago now” as a deciding factor in his hiring.
While Labor has gone on the front foot in attacking the Morrison Government over the pay day, it’s worth noting that “Hiring Scott Cam” isn’t a trait unique to the Liberal Party.
In 2009, the then-Rudd Labor Government paid $74,250 to SWC Contractors for “representational services by Mr Scott Cam,” which covered a raft of appearances at Centrelink Job Expos.
The real lesson here is that Federal Governments, in all forms, should stop giving Scott By-God Cam money to do borderline nothing.
You’d think that’d be an easy call to make. Not one we repeatedly whiff on multiple times, in multiple Governments, over the course of an entire decade.
And yet, here we bloody are.