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Liberal MP charged wedding travel costs to taxpayers ‘in error’

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Dubious Travel Claims | Liberal Party | QED
Liberal Party

Liberal MP charged wedding travel costs to taxpayers ‘in error’

October 2011

Federal Liberal MP Steve Irons charged taxpayers more than $2000 for flights to his own Melbourne wedding in October 2011. The Swan MP said the money had been claimed in error and had been repaid after “a self-audit” of travel expenses in his office.

The West Australian MP for Swan claimed $1346 to fly from Perth to Melbourne on October 18, 2011, according to Department of Finance records. The MP for Swan married his partner Cheryle the same week. The records show a further $911.80 was billed to taxpayers for a return flight a week later, on October 25.

Liberal MP Stuart Robert and Treasurer Scott Morrison each repaid the $354 allowance paid for attending Mr Irons’ wedding.

Irons had also used taxpayer funds to pay for flights to a Gold Coast golf tournament in December 2015. The trip included a $258 bill to taxpayers for three nights’ travel allowance in Coolangatta and $1875 for a flight from Brisbane to Perth.

Mr Irons said he studied golf tourism opportunities at the first stage of the International Team Challenge, after being invited to attend by the Australian PGA.

As chair of the parliamentary friends of sport group, Mr Irons said the trip had not broken any rules on taxpayer funded travel, despite it being claimed as “electorate business”.

In 2013, it was reported Mr Irons repaid more than $10,000 for domestic flights and taxis, including for travel to Melbourne which coincided with his son’s AFL debut for Port Adelaide in the 2011 season.

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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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