Tag Archives: taxpayers

Hockey’s resignation cost taxpayers far more than $450,000

Updated December 11, 2015 00:30:13

Dumped treasurer Joe Hockey’s choice to quit politics mid-term has cost taxpayers more than $ 450,000 in by-election expenditures.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull removed Mr Hockey as treasurer when he assumed the leadership in September, sparking the former member for North Sydney’s resignation from Parliament.

Liberal candidate Trent Zimmerman — a former staffer for Mr Hockey — last weekend won the safe Liberal seat regardless of a swing against the Government.

Recent listings on the Government’s tender web site show practically $ 35,000 was spent on Australian Electoral Commission marketing, along with a lot more than $ 15,000 on printing.

More than $ 70,000 was also spent on venue hire, whilst delivering the official household guide expense $ 75,000.

Spending of less than $ 10,000 is not published.

Mr Hockey was this week officially named Australia’s next Ambassador to the United States and is set to begin in Washington subsequent month.

In an interview released earlier this week Mr Hockey stated: “If I was going to stay it would have to be overwhelmingly about receiving even with individuals that brought me down.”

Labor’s waste watch spokesman Pat Conroy said the former treasurer’s purpose for leaving Parliament early is not good adequate.

“Properly this is Joe Hockey’s final insult to the Australian public, to cost taxpayers a completely unnecessary half-a-million dollars for this by-election when he admits freely the only reason he left Parliament was if he’d stayed he would have just plotted revenge against Malcolm Turnbull and the plotters who brought down Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey,” Mr Conroy stated.

“Usually these issues occur if folks are sick or they’ve got private causes, but to resign less than a year out from an election just to take yet another government gig is fairly appalling I would say.”

Topics: government-and-politics, elections, hockey-joe, australia

Very first posted December 11, 2015 00:22:19

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Kamitsis ‘ingratiating herself’ with senior police at expense of NT taxpayers, court told

By Felicity James

Posted November 26, 2015 23:10:48

The former chairwoman of NT Crime Stoppers, Alexandra ‘Xana’ Kamitsis, has been “ingratiating herself” with senior police officers at the expense of Northern Territory taxpayers, a court has been told.

Crown prosecutor David Morters has alleged Kamitsis, through her organization Latitude Travel, submitted fraudulent invoices to a Well being Division scheme, which provides pensioners concessions on travel.

In closing submissions, Mr Morters stated Kamitsis invoiced the Well being Department for amounts higher than actual travel fees, passing the benefits onto loved ones and buddies, including former NT police commissioner John McRoberts.

“What she is carrying out is ingratiating herself with senior police officers, one of which she admits having an intimate relationship with, at the complete expense of Northern Territory taxpayers,” Mr Morters said.

Mr Morters mentioned Kamitsis had admitted in agreed information to obtaining an “intimate partnership” with Mr McRoberts and becoming a “buddy” of NT Assistant Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker.

He told the jury that in some instances, Kamitsis submitted invoices for “bogus” travel expenses soon after she had already booked and paid for a less costly flight for the relevant pensioner.

Mr Morters referred to admissions Kamitsis produced in statements of agreed facts about how she spent money obtained from the Wellness Department’s pensioner concession unit.

Kamitsis has admitted she “dispersed” pensioner travel concession funds as shown in flow charts tendered in court, which depict the cash getting spent on friends and household, service fees and commission payments.

In one example, Mr Morters said the flow charts showed Kamitsis received a pensioner travel concession payment of $ 2,319 for Jeanette Carter, but the actual cost of Ms Carter’s flight was about $ 800.

The charts showed remaining funds had been spent on a $ 1,000 transfer to a “trip file” in the name of Mr McRoberts and a $ 407.91 service charge.

“In effect, she receives double the compensation she was entitled to,” Mr Morters told the jury.

“She transfers a lot more than half more than to her really close friend, Mr McRoberts.”

Court documents shown to the jury, such as emails amongst Kamitsis and Mr McRoberts, suggest the funds were used to pay for a flight for Mr McRoberts in September 2010, so he could attend the AFL grand final.

“They make it quite clear that what this trip is all about is to facilitate Mr McRoberts going to the grand final re-run in Victoria,” Mr Morters stated.

Flow charts shown to the jury also depict pensioner travel concession payments being spent on a $ 746 flight upgrade for Mr Chalker and a $ 758.49 service charge.

“Her state of mind is, I am going to take $ 758.49 as a service charge, at least 5 occasions what she is entitled to,” Mr Morters said.

A statement to the court from Mr Chalker stated he was told Kamitsis organised a flight upgrade for him and Mr McRoberts in 2010 when they were travelling back to Darwin from Canberra.

“I was not conscious that there was any financial cost for the upgrade,” Mr Chalker mentioned in his statutory declaration.

Kamitsis has pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of getting a benefit by deception and has elected not to give oral evidence in the trial.

Justice Dean Mildren has told the jury Kamitsis has “no case to answer” in relation to an alternative 17 counts of stealing, which would have been deemed if the jury discovered Kamitsis not guilty of fraud.

Justice Mildren mentioned the contract amongst the Overall health Division and Latitude Travel did not oblige Kamitsis to deal with the money she received below the pensioner travel concession scheme in a specific way.

Topics: courts-and-trials, darwin-0800, nt

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