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Scott Buchholz’ $1,700 claim for Sydney Harbour cruise

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Dubious Travel Claims | LNP | QED
Liberal National Party

Scott Buchholz’ $1,700 claim for Sydney Harbour cruise

November 21, 2018

Liberal MP Scott Buchholz charged taxpayers more than $1700 to cruise Sydney Harbour with his partner aboard a luxury vessel chartered by mining magnate Gina Rinehart, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

The assistant minister for road safety and freight transport, was a guest of Ms Rinehart at the National Agriculture and Related Industries Day Gala Dinner. The cocktail function was held on board the palatial Starship Sydney, billed as the largest glass cruising vessel on the harbour, which seats 350 guests for a sit-down black-tie dinner.

According to the Nine newspapers, expense records show taxpayers paid $449 for Mr Buchholz’s hotel in Sydney, plus $393.31 for his flight from Canberra to Sydney and $172.59 for his flight to Brisbane the next day.

They also covered his partner’s flight from Rockhampton to Sydney via Brisbane at a cost of $355.08, as well as $338 for Mr Buchholz’s Commonwealth car while in Sydney.

Mr Buchholz said he was invited to the function in his capacity as assistant roads minister in order to “engage with industry stakeholders on matters related to my portfolio”.

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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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