Melbourne, Nov 15 : Irish singer songwriter Bob Geldof charged 100,000 to give a speech about world suffering at the eighth annual Diversity@Work business awards at Crown Palladium in Melbourne.
Geldof, 54, who is an anti-poverty campaigner, spoke about the tragedy of Third World poverty and the failure of governments to combat the crisis at a Crown casino function on November 13 night.
According to the Herald Sun, the fee The Boomtown Rats member asked included the cost of luxury hotel rooms and first-class airfares, while his fellow activist and World Vision CEO the Rev Tim Costello spoke for free.
"It was an inspiring speech. But when you think he got paid 100,000 dollars to talk about poverty, it seems like a bit of a contradiction," News.com.au quoted an insider as saying.
"That's 100,000 dollars that could have made a difference to poverty right there. Everyone in the audience would have walked away in awe. If only they knew the full story," the insider added.
The payment believed to have been funded by event sponsors including the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Geldof's speech was the highlight of the evening.
Diversity@Work is a private company providing workplace consulting and training, and its CEO, Mark Heaysman, last night refused to say how much was spent to lure Geldof, who was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1986 for his Live Aid campaign.
"The aim of the Diversity@Work awards is to bring the very important issue of providing better opportunities for people with disabilities and those from diverse backgrounds to the public spotlight," he said.
"It is important to have high-profile supporters of the awards, to help spread this important message. It is a great shame if this issue is overshadowed," he added.