Hanging with the big boys doesn't come cheap:
"Each of the 1550 Diggers on the ground in Afghanistan is costing Australian taxpayers $1 million. That was the figure for Australia's war effort last financial year - and it is only going to get bigger. Taxpayers will be hit with a new bill of more than $1 billion next year to fund the war in Afghanistan as the government struggles to conjure up a promised May budget surplus. The cost of the war hit $1.6 billion for the past financial year. By June 2013, the overall outlay for the Afghanistan campaign will reach more than $7.4 billion..." (Million-dollar Diggers: What each soldier in Afghanistan costs taxpayers, Ian McPhedran, Daily Telegraph, 18/1/12)
"Australia's spies now cost more than $1 billion a year to run ... according to a landmark review of the country's intelligence community... ASIO alone grew by 471% between 2001 and 2010 and this year will occupy new headquarters in Canberra worth $590 million..." (Soaring cost of spy force passes $1b, Dylan Welch, Sydney Morning Herald, 26/1/12)
Taxpayer? How stupid are you?