Put it down to me being a simple old man doesn’t understand complexity, but I cannot see why Royal commissions cost what they do!

The recent experience in the Northern Territory with the Royal Commission into Juvenile Detention cost north of $70 million. The outcomes from that commission are such that I’m almost inclined to think that with in the few months The report will be forgotten and put away in the filing cabinet along with hundreds of other commission reports from around Australia.

I question the veracity of the need for commissions to happen on a lot of occasions. Now on again, one gets milage out of changes in society but those “successful“ commissions are rare .

And now there is a proposition for a Royal Commission into Disability and the disability industry. That commission is going to cost well over $500 million?!

As an old person, I would suggest that many of the issues that take a commission to look at – with the outcomes often being only a reinstatement of the problem – could be overcome by small groups of people applying commonsense to issues.

Commissions are too often seen as a palliative and conscience soothing sop. The Australian mentality when it comes to commissions is well and truly over the top.


The other point that concerns me about Royal commissions and costs is the way they are becoming an absolute gravy train for those connected with their operation.

I am generally excepting public servants from this because their role has them doing commission work as a part and parcel of normal salaried positions. However, many of those public servants pick up big slabs of extra money through overtime requirements.

The amount of money extracted by commissioners and by huge numbers of legal staff by way of recompense and fee costs is mind blowing! Huge costs are added to the budgets of governments because of our preoccupation “by habit” with royal commissions.

It is not going to far to suggest that while on the one hand Royal Commissions feather of the nests of those directly connected with their operation, on the other, they are major contributors to Australia’s debt burden.

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