The Coalition’s election win has led to another rebadging of the department formerly known as Immigration and Citizenship – at a cost of $200,000 and rising.
The department has had 10 different names since 1945, with the words ”ethnic affairs” and ”multicultural affairs” falling on and off the end of its title depending on the colour of the government.
The Whitlam government played politics and made it the Department of Labor and Immigration in 1974 before the Fraser government removed Labor and added Ethnic Affairs for the first time.
The Abbott government’s decision to rebadge with the more muscular Department of Immigration and Border Protection has so far cost taxpayers $195,000.
The price tag emerged at Senate estimates hearings on Tuesday.
Department secretary Martin Bowles said the $195,000 spent so far was actually good news for the public purse because fewer boxes of stationery needed to be turfed out than in other years.
”The good thing about name changes these days is most things are electronic so there’s not a lot of costs in a range of things. At this stage we haven’t changed everything. We only estimate the cost to be around about $195,000 at this stage, mainly to deal with signage issues,” he said.
Mr Bowles explained that Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s rejig of ministries had seen Customs and Border Protection shifted into Immigration and Multiculturalism moved into Social Services.
Before it lost power in 2007, the Howard government added ”citizenship” and subtracted ”multicultural affairs”. The cost of adding the new name to staff uniforms cost $500,000, according to reports at the time.
Adding the logo “People – our business” on department coffee mugs cost $26,700.
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