The parliamentary expense entitlements of Australian politicians have come under public scrutiny this week with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis repaying thousands in travel claims.
Ministers say they’ve done nothing wrong, but are paying back expenses where there is room for doubt. This morning it emerged Abbott claimed $1300 in expenses for attending an Ironman triathlon event and he has defended his lodging of the claim.
Here are the expenses claims in dispute so far:
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
- $1094 to attend former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella’s wedding in Wangaratta in 2006
- $609 to attend former independent MP Peter Slipper’s wedding in 2006.
- $1300 to attend an Ironman triathlon in Port Macquarie in 2011
- $9400 in travel expenses to promote his book Battlelines
Attorney-General George Brandis
- $1683 to attend the wedding of former 2UE talkback host Michael Smith in 2011.
- $13,000 over four years books, periodicals and newspapers.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce
- $600 to travel to Michael Smith’s Central Coast wedding in 2011.
- $12,000, with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Coalition MP Teresa Gambaro to return from a wedding in India, where there were guests of billionaire Gina Rinehart. Joyce also claimed his wife’s travel expenses.
Labor MP Bernie Ripoll
- $5474 for a study tour to inspect France’s bicycle infrastructure during the 2011 Tour de France.
Former independent MP Peter Slipper
- $964 in Cabcharge dockets for 3 trips to Canberra wineries in 2010. Slipper said this week that he tried to repay the amount but was not allowed to do so, and faced court instead.
- Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Coalition MP Teresa Gambaro shared Barnaby Joyce’s $12,000 in costs to return from the wedding in India.
- Labor politicians Kevin Rudd and Greg Combet are accused of charging taxpayers $831 and $150 respectively in Comcar costs to attend former Labor leader Bob Hawke’s 80th birthday party in 2009. Simon Crean is claimed to have charged $80 in Comcar costs plus flights from Melbourne to attend the party in Sydney. A spokesman for Rudd told The Australian that Rudd was “not in a position to check whether he had claimed any entitlements”.
- Former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard repaid $4243 in 2007 for her partner Tim Mathieson’s use of a taxpayer-funded car. Gillard was deputy opposition leader at the time.
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