The Morrison government has defended TV tradie Scott Cam’s job as taxpayer-funded careers ambassador, despite the Gold Logie winner attending just one event since October.
The Block star’s sole public appearance since taking up the job in October 2019 has been at a media conference alongside Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Skills Minister Michaelia Cash to announce his appointment.
Cam is being paid $350,000 for his 18-month careers ambassador gig. He has already pocketed $145,000 of that.
Skills Department officials told Senate estimates on Thursday that Cam had also appeared in three short videos, made four social media posts and put a profile on a government website.
Senator Michaelia Cash defended Cam’s work, saying his job was about influencing people’s views of vocational education and training.
“It’s about utilising that profile to draw people’s attention into what otherwise they may not actually give any notice to,” she told the committee.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also defended Cam’s appointment as a trades ambassador – and how much he is being paid.
“Scotty Cam is a successful tradie and he can make that message very clear,” Mr Morrison said in December.
“We made no secret about the fact he wasn’t doing it as a volunteer.
“He’s done this work for previous Labor governments as well … This is about getting young people into trades.”
Skills and training deputy secretary Nadine Williams said Cam’s pay packet wasn’t a salary.
“Mr Cam has been contracted to do a range of activities that are designed to raise the profile of VET and designed to raise the profile of careers advice more generally,” she said.
Senator Cash also told estimates Cam would host the Australian Training Awards in November.
“It is literally the Logies of training awards,” she said.
It was also promised Cam would appear at eight events this year, including one next week with Senator Cash.
“Like The Block, we’re going to have to wait for the reveal,” Labor senator Deborah O’Neill said.
The previous Labor government also paid Cam to open trade fairs.