The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, the nation’s largest grassroots advocacy group representing taxpayers, today admonished the NSW Government for spending upwards of $1.2 million of taxpayers’ money on indoor plants for its new corporate office in Parramatta. The Department of Planning gave the green flag to a three-year contract with Tropical Plant Rentals because the plants granted the building a green star rating for sustainability. The $1.2 million only reflects the indoor vegetation costs, excluding the external landscape costs.
“After bushfires and the COVID-19 economic crisis, now is not the time to waste taxpayer dollars on building aesthetics. This kind of extravagant spending mocks the over half a million Australians who have lost their jobs and the many small businesses who will never turn their signs back to ‘open’.”
“When individuals hit hard economic times they start cutting non-essentials, the government should do the same. Taxpayers do not have the means to spend on 5-star green ratings for government buildings while they still struggle to get through the current global upheaval,” said the ATA Policy Director, Emilie Dye.
“Nothing about this kind of expenditure can be called, ‘sustainable.’ Right now, sustainability requires keeping as much money in Australian pockets as possible. People cannot worry about the environment when they are worrying about paying rent and putting food on the table.”