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‘Mid-life crisis’ conference just ticket for the blues

Case for Federal ICAC
Deceptive Conduct | Dubious Travel Claims | QED
Liberal Party

‘Mid-life crisis’ conference just ticket for the blues

May 2015

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds charged taxpayers $5,500 so she could attend a weekend conference put on by her husband’s employer – and go to a ball.

As a new Liberal senator for WA, Reynolds claimed $1,268 on the public purse in May 2015 so she could fly to Brisbane return from Canberra for an Australian Medical Association cocktail party event. Her husband Robert Reid was the AMA’s director of communications, according to the Daily Mail Australia.

Department of Finance records reportedly show Senator Reynolds charged taxpayers $363.43 to fly from Canberra to Brisbane on the Friday and another $695.56 to return to Canberra on the Sunday.

On those days, the senator also claimed for Comcar transport to and from the airports, adding up to $209.

A spokeswoman for the senator said the AMA ‘officially invited’ her to its May 2015 national conference ‘in her capacity as a senator for WA, and as a member of both Senate Community Affairs committees’.

Two months later, in July 2015, Senator Reynolds charged taxpayers $4,242 to travel from her Perth electorate office to the WA resort town of Broome.

While their visit coincided with the weekend races, a spokeswoman said Senator Reynolds was there to attend a NAIDOC week ball to which she and her partner were officially invited and she also held community meetings and events.

Linda Reynolds

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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