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Cormann, Dutton’s $60,000 domestic RAAF flights

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Dubious Travel Claims | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

Cormann, Dutton’s $60,000 domestic RAAF flights

August 2018

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann billed taxpayers $60,000 for RAAF flights to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Scott Morrison following the leadership spill against Malcolm Turnbull. 

As the ABC reported, after the 2018 spill both flew on routes heavily serviced by commercial airlines, contrary to parliamentary rules that stipulate politicians should take commercial flights where possible.

Mr Dutton flew from the Amberley RAAF base near Brisbane to Canberra on the Sunday following the spill. He was sworn in again as Home Affairs Minister on the Monday, then flew to the Gold Coast later that day.

The flights cost $25,396 in total, including the trips with no passengers to fetch the CL604 Challenger aircraft from, and return it to, Canberra. The ABC report Dutton declined to later comment bt said at the time “the swearing-in today will allow me to travel to the Gold Coast to attend the Five Country Ministerial meeting”.

Senator Cormann’s flight from Perth to Canberra on the Monday cost $1,823. After being sworn in, he flew back to Perth on a CL604 Challenger. Sending the aircraft to Perth and back to Canberra cost $37,720. He held a press conference in Perth the following day. A spokesperson said: “On 28 August Senator Cormann was required both in Canberra and back in Perth later that day.” The spokesman said no commercial flight options were available “to accommodate all these commitments”.

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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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