Melbourne, Feb 23(ANI): The Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria (FIAV) president Vasan Srinivasan has insisted that the cost of bringing Indian journalists to Australia at taxpayers' expense could be better spent on supporting international students.
The comment comes after reports suggested the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is spending an estimated 250,000 dollars for bringing 25 Indian journalists to Australia in a bid to help fight a public relations battle over attacks on Indian students.
"I don't know why our government is going down that pathway. Why should we spend taxpayers' money when there is nothing to see?" News.com.au quoted Srinivasan, as saying.
He further said though there was a need to improve relations between the two countries, the money should be given to the Victorian Multicultural Commission in support of students' welfare.
According to reports, the Australian Government will be paying flight and five-star accommodation bills of 10,000 dollars each for Indian reporters to take tours of Australia, focusing on Melbourne.
The money will spent through its international media visits budget, and will be used to provide luxury accommodation at top Melbourne hotels, tours of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and concert tickets. (ANI)