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Julie Bishop charged taxpayers $2,700 to attend 2016 Portsea Polo

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Dubious Travel Claims | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

Julie Bishop charged taxpayers $2,700 to attend 2016 Portsea Polo

January 9, 2016

Then foreign minister Julie Bishop charged taxpayers $2,716 to attend the 2016 Portsea Polo for “official ministerial business”.

According to the ABC, Ms Bishop was invited to the January 9, 2016 event on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula as a guest of Peroni and Jeep. She was pictured at the event in an exclusive marquee hosted by Mercedes Benz where her fellow guests included models, socialites and former prime minister Tony Abbott’s daughter, Frances.

A Department of Finance report shows Ms Bishop spent $2,177 on flights to Melbourne for the event, $416 on a car and claimed a $123 travel allowance.

In response to questions from the ABC, her office issued a short statement. “The Minister was invited and attended in her official capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party,” it read. Ministers are allowed to claim for travel relating to their office, but the ministerial standards prohibit travel for private purposes.

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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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