Christopher Pyne charged taxpayers $5000 for a family Christmastime trip from Adelaide to Sydney

Photo: Stefan Postles/Getty.

Education minister Christopher Pyne’s use of travel expenses is under further scrutiny after public documents confirmed he billed taxpayers $5000 for flights from Adelaide to Sydney over the Christmas holiday period.

Pyne and three family members flew to Sydney on Boxing Day in 2009 for a six-day trip before returning on New Year’s Day.

Each airfare cost $1,200 with an additional $1,000 spent on using a Commonwealth cars as well as two nights of travel allowance worth $240.

Pyne claimed the travel expenses were within limits because he reportedly had a private one-on-one meeting with Tony Abbott, which was classified as official shadow ministerial business.

“Mr Pyne undertook work as a shadow minister, including a planning day with the new leader of the opposition,” a spokesman for the minister said.

“Neither Mr Pyne nor his family have ever seen the New Year’s Eve Sydney fireworks.”

Just yesterday, Pyne was defending himself after it emerged that he charged taxpayers $7000 to fly his family business class from Adelaide to Canberra to watch him in Parliament.

Asked whether these expenses were “excessive”, Pyne replied: “They are the rules, they fly business class to come to Canberra to be part of their dad’s job.

“I am the leader of the House, I don’t think that’s an unfair thing for them to do.”

The revelations have continued after Bronwyn Bishop resigned as speaker after spending $5000 on an 80km helicopter ride between Melbourne and Geelong.

A review of MP travel entitlements found they jumped 17% to $35.4 million last year, $5 million more than the 2013 election year.

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