Labor has called on Health Minister Sussan Ley to explain how her use of taxpayer funded travel entitlements while purchasing a Gold Coast property was within the rules or resign from the frontbench.
Ms Ley’s office has confirmed the minister purchased the $795,000 apartment – which she described as an “impulse buy” – while on the Gold Coast in May 2015 after she travelled to Brisbane for an announcement at Wesley Hospital about funding to list medicines on the PBS.
“On the Gold Coast later that day, Minister Ley also had meetings with local health stakeholders, those being patients about access to new medicines. The property purchase was not planned nor anticipated,” a spokeswoman for the minister said.
Ms Ley then claimed $370 in travel allowance for accommodation at the Gold Coast.
Labor has demanded the minister explain who the stakeholders were, whether she used a Comcar to view or purchase the property and how such a purchase could not planned.
“Sussan Ley’s explanation that the purchase “was not planned nor anticipated” is woefully inadequate and an insult to Australians.
“If she cannot do this, she has no choice but to resign, or Malcolm Turnbull must move her off his front bench,” Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King said.
Her partner also travelled with her, claiming some allowances under politician family travel arrangements.
“Minister Ley’s partner was invited to accompany her to a function in Sydney on the Friday evening.
“He then travelled with the Minister to Queensland under family travel arrangements.
“The EMB was consulted at the time to confirm Ms Ley’s partner’s travel was within the rules,” a spokeswoman for the minister said.
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