This week’s comedy relief story out of
Senate Estimates has involved what happens to the coins thrown in the
reflective pool in the very middle of Parliament House.

The Canberra Times had the best wrap of
the yarn. “A child
who joins in the long-held tradition of tossing a coin into Parliament House’s
reflective pool and making a wish is contributing to the government coffers, a
Senate Estimates hearing has heard,” it was reported.

of Parliamentary Services secretary Hilary Pinfold said yesterday that each
year about $200 worth of Australian coins were collected and went into general
revenue, with the foreign currency kept in the departmental office. Staff
cleaned out the water features every month.

Labor Senator John Faulkner said the money should go to

Ms Pinfold said charities would end up with
about 25c each.

‘I can
understand why you think people might throw it in there in a charitable frame
of mind, but I’m not sure how we could work out which charity to donate it to,’
she said.

spokesman for Senate President Paul Calvert said he planned to talk to House
of Representatives’ Speaker David Hawker about donating the coins to charity.

Later, Ms Pinfold said the foreign currency would
be given to the UNICEF Change for Good program.

our friends at The RiotACTmight have it right.

“I doubt the $200
a year covers the cost of paying someone to gather the bastards up,” a RiotACT
poster writes.