News

Politicians rack up more than $101 million in expenses

AUSTRALIA'S federal politicians racked up more than $101 million in expenses in the past financial year.

A report on parliamentary entitlements for the first six months of 2012 was tabled on Thursday night before parliament rose for the year.

It revealed more than $47 million was dished out in entitlements between January and June this year and came after a bill of more than $54.7 million for the last six months of 2011, the details of which were released in June.

The 2011/12 total was about $350,000 more than the previous financial year.

Overseas travel accounted for almost $4 million of the total expenses for the first six months of 2012, or an average of $160,000 a week.

Office facilities and administration costs accounted for almost a quarter of the total.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard claimed $517,379 for overseas travel, $190,000 of which accounted for trips taken before January 1 but paid for in the first six months of this year.

Ms Gillard made trips to South Korea ($42,493), Singapore and Turkey ($137,754), the United States ($112,758) and Mexico and Brazil ($34,530) between January and June.

The Prime Minister's total entitlements came to $575,259 for the reporting period, plus an additional $202,944 in expenses incurred prior to January 1.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott received $439,647.59 in entitlements, and while he did not have any overseas travel expenses from January to June, his trip to the UK, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan in November last year came to $7529.

Former Speaker Peter Slipper again managed a hefty overseas travel bill for the six months.

Between March and April he spent $97,000 visiting South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Russia, Kazakhstan, Hungary and the US.

His domestic travel bill, including accommodation, flights and car costs, came in at a tick over $64,000 from January to June.

It comprised more than $28,000 on domestic air travel, almost $18,000 on accommodation, $3155 on Comcars, and $8772 on 51 taxi fares. His other travel charges related to expenses before January 1.

The Sunshine Coast MP, who quit in disgrace as Speaker in October after less than a year in the job, received $296,214 in entitlements for the first six months of the year, plus more than $33,000 incurred before the reporting period.

In comparison Queensland Senator and Senate President John Hogg's entitlements came to $228,153 for the six months, plus almost $10,000 from before January 1.

Senator Hogg's overseas travel came in at almost $69,000 after be visited Belgium, France and Israel between April and May.

Kevin Rudd spent more than $237,000 on overseas travel in less than three months before quitting to challenge Ms Gillard for the Labor leadership in late February.

His total overseas travel bill came in at almost $344,000 counting expenses incurred before January 1.

The member for Griffith's entitlements totalled more than $480,000 from January to June.

Bob Carr, Mr Rudd's successor as foreign minister, spent more than $245,000 between March and June as he visited 17 countries.

Other frequent flyers included Trade Minister Craig Emerson ($345,045), Defence Minister Stephen Smith ($223,288) and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles ($161,624).

A number of MPs spent significant sums on office fit-outs, with Queensland Labor backbencher Yvette D'Ath's $394,000 refurb the most expensive.

It was followed by Liberal Senator Chris Back ($355,726), Liberal MP Steve Irons ($336,990), Liberal Stuart Robert ($306,202) and Greens Senator Richard Di Natale ($264,905).

Topics:  expenses, julia gillard, peter slipper, politicians, tony abbott


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

You won't believe what's happening at the Lions

Lions Club Richlands has started a $12m redevelopment.

VIDEO: $12 million redevelopment will change face of sporting club

70-year-old truckie charged with causing fatal crash

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Police have laid charges over a Peak Crossing crash

Vandals poison century-old trees at Queens Park

DEAD WOOD: Trees of more than 100 years of age have been poisoned at Queens Park. The council is offering a $4000 reward for information leading to the culprits.

Dumb act forces council to chop down 100-year-old Ficus microcarpa

Latest deals and offers

'Undesirables' targeted in Ipswich CBD police blitz

Almost 1000 people spoken to in four weeks as part of the plan to push trouble makers out of the city centre

You won't believe what's happening at the Lions

Lions Club Richlands has started a $12m redevelopment.

VIDEO: $12 million redevelopment will change face of sporting club

70-year-old truckie charged with causing fatal crash

Police generic, crime scene.  Photo Tessa Mapstone / South Burnett Times

Police have laid charges over a Peak Crossing crash

Vandals poison century-old trees at Queens Park

DEAD WOOD: Trees of more than 100 years of age have been poisoned at Queens Park. The council is offering a $4000 reward for information leading to the culprits.

Dumb act forces council to chop down 100-year-old Ficus microcarpa

Kidnapper accused denied bail

Redbank Plains man, 30 in custody on kidnapping charge

Flood watch issued for Qld, NSW

NSW State Emergency Service warns of heavy rain

Five new things to see and do at this year's Muster

There's already plenty of fun to be had at the XXXX bar.

Here are five new things to see and do at this year's Gympie Muster

Five new things to see and do at this year's Muster

There's already plenty of fun to be had at the XXXX bar.

Here are five new things to see and do at this year's Gympie Muster

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

Rio 2016: So how many watched, tweeted it?

Jessica Fox in action during the Rio Games.

Tweets about #Rio2016 were viewed a staggering number of times

Thorsome: Anthony Hopkins in Brisbane

Sir Anthony Hopkins talks with Tom Hiddleston on the set of Thor: Raganok. Photo:  Jess Moller-Nielsen

Premier calls for extra tax relief for big movie makers in Qld

Zumbo crashes TV ratings race as Survivor viewership slips

Gigi Falanga and Adriano Zumbo star in the TV series Zumbo's Just Desserts.

DESSERT show delivers post-Olympics win for Channel 7.

Xbox Onesie: Fashion for lounge lizards unveiled

Would you wear it?

Xbox Australia team launches into fashion field with Xbox Onesie

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Developer announces plans for prime 1.2km beach frontage

An artist's impression of the development.

Developer announces plans for 1.2km beach frontage

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m