Tony Abbott’s Department Isn’t Real Keen On Cat Pics

It turns out members of the Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s department are as human as the rest of us, and can get just as distracted by pictures of cats on the internet as we do. Except when they do it, it winds up being an apparent mountain of bureaucratic nonsense.

You see, back in January two clever dudes named Dan Nolan and Ben Taylor launched a browser extension called ‘Stop Tony Meow’ which, when active, replaced any picture of Tony Abbott you’d come across in your regular browsing with pictures of adorable kittehs. The extension was not only a borderline genius idea, but had long-reaching health benefits due to removing excessive causes of spiking blood pressure.
Dan Nolan then got a bit curious as to what the government actually thought of his cool dude technology, mainly stemming from the fact that the Liberal party page had been slightly modified so that the extension did not apply to it. So he submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for any documents that contained the phrase “Stop Tony Meow”.
When the Government finally got back to him, they revealed that there was, in fact, a little bit of chatter about the extension within the Department. And when I say “a little bit of chatter” I mean “137 pages of correspondence on the issue.” Yes. 137 pages. One hundred and thirty seven. About a browser extension that changes pictures of Abbott to kittens.
Nolan, however, is yet to actually read any of the documents, because along with the results of the request came a bill for $720.30. Small amounts were charged for searching and photocopying fees, but the large majority of it, $623.80 in fact, was charged for something called “decision making-time” – a total of 36.19 hours at $20 an hour – largely meaning that someone really ummed and ahhed over whether the information should be released.
It seems like someone has taken an exceptionally long time to make a decision.
I assume that most of that is boosted up and inflated in order to kind of deter people from making FOI requests or because they think I’m being a vexatious applicant or because they think the data is not important,
” Nolan remarked.
Maybe that’s true. Or maybe they fell down the cat gif rabbit hole again.
Photo: AFP via Getty Images.

via SMH.