Ratepayers fork out for overpriced welcome to country ceremonies

From the Herald Sun:
COUNCILS are spending tens of thousands of dollars on Aboriginal welcome-to-country ceremonies amid claims by a tribal elder that some costs are extravagant.

It costs up to $850 for an elder to perform a 20-minute welcome and smoking ceremony.

Some councils have signed annual agreements with indigenous groups.

Moreland, Port Phillip and Yarra councils have each paid about $22,000 of ratepayers' funds on ceremonies over the past two years, documents released to the Herald Sun under Freedom of Information laws reveal.

Next was City of Melbourne, which paid $16,000.

No surprise, they're overcharging:
"But Wurundjeri elder Ian Hunter, who split from the group years ago, said it was trying to monopolise the market by lobbying councils and other organisations... Mr Hunter, who has a business performing ceremonies, said he would charge a few hundred dollars for a welcome, but was astounded that others had been billing councils at least double that."

Personally, I don't understand why taxpayers are paying for this leftie feelgood ceremony anyway, but if we are forced to, shouldn't we at least try to get value for money, and not pay $850 for 20 minutes when it can be done at a fraction of this?

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