DFAT sends 23 staff to Paris to learn about saving money

IS it possible that sometimes you need to spend money to save money?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade seems to hope so, after it sent 23 officers from Canberra to Paris to attend a department pow-wow about being more thrifty.

They were flown on business class return travel.

Fairfax reports that while DFAT has not confirmed the cost of the flights, it estimates that the flights alone cost at least $175,000, and that's assuming the department booked the cheapest possible flights.

The group stayed in the four-star Mercure Paris Centre Eiffel Tower Hotel, where even basic rooms start at $530 per night.

Fairfax estimates the total cost for the two-day trip cost taxpayers about $215,000, so officers could be taught by Australia's ambassador to France Stephen Brady.

There is no indication as to why the lessons could not have been taught by video conferencing.

A DFAT spokeswoman has said because the event included a majority of staff based in Europe, holding it in Paris was cheaper than holding the conference in Australia.

The September jaunt for Australian public servants is likely to jar with taxpayers who on Tuesday were told not to expect a wage increase any time soon.

Worker wages in the past 12 months increased by only 2%, the lowest ever seen since the data collection began in the late 1990s.

Topics:  dfat executives pay

Woman hit by vehicle in Coffs Harbour

PEDESTRIAN HIT: Paramedics and police attend an incident where a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on Orlando St, Coffs Harbour. October 27

A woman was hit by a vehicle in Coffs Harbour this morning

Dirty old man in Toormina - beware

I got slapped up my backside while locking my bicycle up

Turnbull! It's time to stand up for regional Australia

We're hoping this cartoon gets your attention Mr Turnbull! Artwork: Peter Broelman

It's time for Turnbull to prove he'll stand for regional Australia

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Survive and support this Pink Ribbon Day

Denise Bass, Kathy Clough and cancer survivor Dorothy Lockart at Pink Ribbon Day stall in the mall.

Cancer survivors often say the diagnosis is the toughest part.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Trump 'worked like hell' to pick up John Travolta's wife

John Travolta and Kelly Preston

Trump wrote comments in tribute to Travolta's son Jett

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Politicians promise homebuyers a helping hand

PROMISE: Canberra has plans to address housing affordability.

How Coffs can help fix housing affordability

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June