Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott spent a whopping $135,000 on medals for knights and dames back in 2014, and now they’re completely worthless.
Abbott, who is one of the many questionable recipients of the Order of Australia honour himself, reintroduced the honour of knights and dames into Australia during his leadership in 2014.
He gave out a bunch of medals, including one to Prince Philip, which was controversial to say the least.
But less than a year later, and only seven weeks after Abbott was booted out of office, Malcolm Turnbull scrapped the whole program and rendered the remaining medals essentially useless.
“Knights and dames are titles that are really anachronistic, they’re out of date, not appropriate in 2015 in Australia,” Turnbull said at the time, and honestly fair enough.
The Order of Australia is a huge joke in general, if we’re being real here, but considering the calibre of people we give these sorts of honours, we truly do not need to be spending thousands of dollars on medals for them.
When the program was scrapped, four waist badges and a neck badge, worth $20,000 and $15,000 each respectively, were written off.
But when the honour became non-existent, so did the value of those medals. In hindsight, we probably should’ve just handed out the remaining medals before we scrapped the award altogether.
“There was a cost attributed to having the relevant insignia for those dame and knights purchased,” the Governor-General’s secretary Paul Singer said in Senate Estimates on Monday.
“With there no longer being knights and dames in the Order of Australia, those insignia hold no value.”
In theory, the bling is worth a staggering $135,000. But in reality, it’s worth mere pennies at this point.
Thankfully, the medals won’t be destroyed and will be kept in the portable and attractive systems register until further notice. But geez, Abbott, can you not waste so much money on useless junk?
Honestly, if this isn’t a reason to just scrap the whole Order of Australia, or *at least* restructure it so we stop giving it to objectively bad people, I don’t know what is.