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Bridget McKenzie’s $2,200 Sydney awards night jaunt

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

Bridget McKenzie’s $2,200 Sydney awards night jaunt

February 2017

The then Nationals deputy leader charged taxpayers thousands of dollars to attend an awards night for shooting in Sydney, claiming the trip as “electorate business” even though she was a Victorian backbencher. 

She then tried to justify the travel because of her role as chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Shooting group – but these informal bodies do not come with any public spending entitlements.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the senator charged taxpayers $2,279.67 for the overnight trip from Melbourne to Sydney for the Shooting Australia Awards of Excellence in February 2017.

Senator McKenzie charged $1,611.12 for business class flights, $268.55 for official cars and $400 for her overnight travel allowance. On her publicly available travel expense paperwork, she classed the trip as “electorate business”.

While Senator McKenzie is an avid shooter, she was a backbencher at the time of the trip so had no portfolio responsibilities for anything shooting-related.

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?

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