Already $2 million has been spent flying 260 asylum seekers from Christmas Island to Nauru, an average cost of $7600 per person, or four times the price of an economy round-trip fare from Australia to London. The government paid the Tasmanian ambulance service $543,000 for what turned out to be 11 trips to the Pontville detention centre near Hobart, a cost of $49,363 per trip.
Other lowlights from the Senate estimate hearings:
After 3½ years, the NBN Co had signed 6400 households to its network, a rate of five households a day, even though the company has one employee for every 15 customers.
Fair Work Australia has spent $1.8 million on outside legal and accounting advice for its investigation into the Health Services Union. This does not include the cost of the department's legal action against the MP Craig Thomson for his alleged role in the widespread rorting of union funds while he was an official with the HSU.
The Home Insulation Program, infamous as the pink batts scheme, has cost $2.15 billion in installation and clean-up costs, a wild blow-out in government forecasts.
The Attorney-General's Department used 19 lawyers and spent $730,000 to settle and pay $50,000 in damages to a former aide to Slipper, all while the Attorney-General was dismissing the case as vexatious.
Officials from the Department of Defence confirmed that the $200 billion cost of acquiring the capabilities outlined in the government's 2009 defence white paper is almost completely unfunded.
Spin: the Department of Industry spent $156,000 trying to prevent The Australian Financial Review from publishing details of government subsidies to the union-dominated car industry.
More spin: the Department of Broadband prepared articles extolling the benefits of the national broadband network and sent them to 22 ''NBN champions'' urging them to get the articles published under their own names.
The Department of Climate is spending $20.5 million on a fit-out of its new headquarters building in Canberra, including a stainless steel executive wine cabinet and Nespresso machines in all eight staff kitchens.