Federal ICAC now

Barnaby Joyce’s debateable use of VIP jet for election bid

Case for Federal ICAC
Dubious Travel Claims | QED | The Nationals
National Party

Barnaby Joyce’s debateable use of VIP jet for election bid

March 2016

Barnaby Joyce spent more than $18,000 of taxpayer funds travelling to the NSW cities of Armidale and Tamworth when he was a Queensland senator trying to win the lower house seat of New England, which includes those two cities.


 According to Guardian Australia, in March 2016 Joyce also used a VIP jet for himself and four staff to fly from Tamworth to Canberra on his return from a televised debate against his New England opponent, the independent Tony Windsor.

A spokeswoman for Joyce said that all the travel was within the rules and undertaking in his role as shadow minister for regional development, local government and water. But Joyce’s office declined to explain what official duties he had undertaken in Tamworth and Armidale on the given dates. Between 17 February and 7 August 2013, Joyce spent more than $13,000 on 25 flights in or out of Armidale or Tamworth, according to Guardian Australia.

A Defence Document produced under Freedom of Information laws shows that a VIP 34 squadron jet flew from Melbourne to Tamworth on March 17, 2016, the same night Joyce debated incumbent MP Tony Windsor in Tamworth at a pub forum televised by Sky News. The jet returned from Tamworth to Canberra with Joyce and four staff on 18 March.

An ABC analysis of VIP jet trips suggests the cost to taxpayers, including of leasing the aircraft, is $8000 an hour. The 2hr 50min flight time to and from Tamworth therefore could be calculated as costing more than $20,000.

Read more.

What's a rort?

Conflicts of Interest

Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliament’s code of ethics, the list goes on.

Deceptive Conduct

Claiming that greenhouse gas emissions have gone down when the facts clearly show otherwise; breaking the law on responding to FoI requests; reneging on promised legislation; claiming credit for legislation that doesn’t exist; accepting donations that breach rules. You get the drift of what behaviour this category captures.

Election Rorts

In the months before the last election, the Government spent hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers’ money on grants for sports, community safety, rural development programs and more. Many of these grants were disproportionally awarded to marginal seats, with limited oversight and even less accountability.

Dubious Travel Claims

Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. All above board, maybe, but does it really pass the pub test? Or does it just reinforce the fact that politicians take the public for mugs?

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This