Former prime minister Tony Abbott pocketed taxpayer-funded travel allowance on a day he attended a birthday celebration for a mining magnate and Liberal Party donor.
Mr Abbott went to the birthday bash for significant party backer Paul Marks at Melbourne’s exclusive Huntingdale Golf Club on Sunday, March 22, whilst nonetheless Liberal leader.
The most current update on politicians’ entitlements revealed Mr Abbott charged the public $ 560 in parliamentary travel allowance for the Melbourne trip, and $ 105.50 for a chauffeur-driven Commonwealth car in the city on the day.
His Comcar use the next day in Melbourne price $ 122.53, just before he flew to Canberra for Parliament.
Mr Abbott came beneath fire earlier this year when it was revealed he travelled to the Victorian capital on a taxpayer-funded RAAF jet.
Mr Marks and his resources firm funnelled at least $ 930,000 into Liberal Party causes for the duration of 2013-14.
Mr Abbott’s office insists there was a operate-related occasion on the identical day, but refused to give additional specifics.
“Mr Abbott had other operate-associated engagements in Melbourne on Sunday 22 March, 2015,” a spokesman mentioned in a statement.
“All travel was undertaken within the guidelines.
“The operate-associated engagement was not an event organised by Paul Marks.”
The former prime minister travelled to Melbourne from Sydney, after attending NSW Premier Mike Baird’s election campaign launch.
Human Services Minister Stuart Robert also reportedly attended the birthday gathering, but has listed no expenses for March 22.
Party donor executive chairman of Nimrod Sources
Mr Marks personally poured $ 250,000 into the Liberal Party in the course of the 2013-14 monetary year, electoral commission documents show.
He also gave $ 181,361 to the Liberal-linked Totally free Enterprise Foundation.
He is executive chairman of sources firm Nimrod Resources, which donated $ 500,000 to the party in the course of the same period.
Mr Abbott has previously repaid taxpayer funds claimed for attending colleagues’ weddings.
He was criticised earlier this year for not strongly condemning former speaker Bronwyn Bishop amid furore over a $ five,000-plus taxpayer-funded helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong for a Liberal Celebration occasion.
The newest expenditure report, covering the initial six months of 2015, shows Mrs Bishop spent more than $ 50,000 on a nation-hopping South American trip in January, and spent $ four,100 on a return charter flight between Canberra and Port Macquarie for an International Women’s Day occasion.
The Finance Department documents also show former treasurer Joe Hockey spent $ six,670 on a charter flight from Sydney to Canberra.
Topics: government-and-politics, federal-government, abbott-tony, political-parties, liberals, melbourne-3000, vic, australia