In this photo released by G20 Australia and taken on Saturday Nov 15, 2014, Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott and President of Russia Vladimir Putin hold koala's during a photo opportunity on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
In this photo released by G20 Australia and taken on Saturday Nov 15, 2014, Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott and President of Russia Vladimir Putin hold koala's during a photo opportunity on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. AP Photo - G20 Australia, Andrew Taylor

G20 koala photos cost taxpayers $24,000

THEY provided the international media with the feel good moments of the G20 World Leaders Summit and the resulting images were broadcast across the world.

But it did not come cheaply.

It was revealed at the weekend Australian taxpayers forked out $24,000 so world leaders could snuggle up close and get their picture taken with koalas during the summit.

Among those leaders snapped cuddling the koalas at a gala dinner held during the summit at Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art included United States President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

News Limited publications claimed that taxpayers forked out the money to Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to ensure the marsupials and their handlers were on-hand for the duration of the summit for picture opportunities with world leaders.

- APN NEWSDESK



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