Medals which were purchased to be awarded to knights and dames and were once valued at $135,000 are now worthless, according to the Governor-General’s office.
- Malcolm Turnbull scrapped Tony Abbott’s knights and dames program seven weeks after he ousted him as prime minister
- Four waist badges worth $20,000 and a neck badge worth $15,000 were among the items being written off
- The medals are being kept in the portable and attractive items register instead of being destroyed
Then-prime minister Tony Abbott reintroduced the honour of knights and dames into the Order of Australia in 2014.
The outgoing governor-general, Quentin Bryce, became a dame and her successor Peter Cosgrove was knighted.
Mr Abbott also famously awarded a knighthood to Prince Philip in a move which was widely ridiculed.
In 2015, only seven weeks after ousting Mr Abbott as prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull scrapped the program.
In Senate Estimates on Monday, it was revealed four waist badges worth $20,000 each and a $15,000 neck badge were among the items that had been written off.
“There no longer being knights and dames within the Order of Australia, those insignia hold no value,” the Governor-General’s secretary Paul Singer said.
“So what’s the value of that write down?” senator Tim Ayres asked.
“It’s in the vicinity of $135,000,” Mr Singer replied.
Senator Ayres went on to ask if the insignia included items such as swords.
“No, there’s no sword and there’s no armour, Senator, you’ll be pleased to know. But there are multiple ‘accoutrements’ as part of that set for knights and dames … a number of insignia a knight might receive,” Mr Singer said.
The acting chief financial officer of the secretary’s office, Jason Chow, said the medals had not been destroyed, and instead were being kept in the portable and attractive items register.