Old 7th Oct 2013, 01:35
  #8707 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 543
I suppose its the very nature of politics that an Opposition snipes at those in government, but it's bordering on the pathetic that all Labor can come up with to have a go at the Libs is dodgy travel claims.

I'm not for one moment saying that Brandis and all the other Libs who've been rorting the system shouldn't be brought to account, but 'people in glass houses' is the phrase that immediately comes to mind.

OK, I'll admit that finding a vaguely parliamentary duty to tack on to a wedding trip is as dodgy as hell. But is it very much different to what every doctor, nurse, chemist, accountant and God knows who else have been doing for as long as I can recall with conferences they 'must attend' that are always held in very pleasant places far, far away from home? They attend the conference, listen to a couple of lectures over maybe a weekend, but seldomly more than a week, and then have a wonderful holiday that may well stretch to a month or more - and claim the travel and as many other expenses as they think they can get away with can against their tax.

As for the pollies, both sides have pushed the envelope for decades. I can remember one instance of what I thought at the time was stretching it a bit. Billy MacMahon, just before he was (deservedly) kicked out of office, flew back to Canberra from Melbourne in a RAAF VIP jet after attending some official function with his wife Sonia. However, she didn't fly back with him, but came back as the only passenger in a second RAAF VIP jet that arrived in Canberra around 2.00 am.

Why did the lovely Sonia come back on a separate jet? Because she'd stayed on in Melbourne to attend some **** fashion show. (Not a rumour - it was reported in the papers at the time, but no one even questioned that a VIP jet was put on specially so she could stay on for a fashion show.)

I flew a then very senior Liberal minister and his party (including his wife) around PNG once after his VIP jet went tech. There were three or four teenagers in that party who I cannot believe were there in any official capacity. Staff they certainly were not.
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