News

Politicians rack up more than $101 million in expenses

AUSTRALIA'S federal politicians racked up more than $101 million in expenses in the past financial year.

A report on parliamentary entitlements for the first six months of 2012 was tabled on Thursday night before parliament rose for the year.

It revealed more than $47 million was dished out in entitlements between January and June this year and came after a bill of more than $54.7 million for the last six months of 2011, the details of which were released in June.

The 2011/12 total was about $350,000 more than the previous financial year.

Overseas travel accounted for almost $4 million of the total expenses for the first six months of 2012, or an average of $160,000 a week.

Office facilities and administration costs accounted for almost a quarter of the total.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard claimed $517,379 for overseas travel, $190,000 of which accounted for trips taken before January 1 but paid for in the first six months of this year.

Ms Gillard made trips to South Korea ($42,493), Singapore and Turkey ($137,754), the United States ($112,758) and Mexico and Brazil ($34,530) between January and June.

The Prime Minister's total entitlements came to $575,259 for the reporting period, plus an additional $202,944 in expenses incurred prior to January 1.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott received $439,647.59 in entitlements, and while he did not have any overseas travel expenses from January to June, his trip to the UK, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan in November last year came to $7529.

Former Speaker Peter Slipper again managed a hefty overseas travel bill for the six months.

Between March and April he spent $97,000 visiting South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Russia, Kazakhstan, Hungary and the US.

His domestic travel bill, including accommodation, flights and car costs, came in at a tick over $64,000 from January to June.

It comprised more than $28,000 on domestic air travel, almost $18,000 on accommodation, $3155 on Comcars, and $8772 on 51 taxi fares. His other travel charges related to expenses before January 1.

The Sunshine Coast MP, who quit in disgrace as Speaker in October after less than a year in the job, received $296,214 in entitlements for the first six months of the year, plus more than $33,000 incurred before the reporting period.

In comparison Queensland Senator and Senate President John Hogg's entitlements came to $228,153 for the six months, plus almost $10,000 from before January 1.

Senator Hogg's overseas travel came in at almost $69,000 after be visited Belgium, France and Israel between April and May.

Kevin Rudd spent more than $237,000 on overseas travel in less than three months before quitting to challenge Ms Gillard for the Labor leadership in late February.

His total overseas travel bill came in at almost $344,000 counting expenses incurred before January 1.

The member for Griffith's entitlements totalled more than $480,000 from January to June.

Bob Carr, Mr Rudd's successor as foreign minister, spent more than $245,000 between March and June as he visited 17 countries.

Other frequent flyers included Trade Minister Craig Emerson ($345,045), Defence Minister Stephen Smith ($223,288) and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles ($161,624).

A number of MPs spent significant sums on office fit-outs, with Queensland Labor backbencher Yvette D'Ath's $394,000 refurb the most expensive.

It was followed by Liberal Senator Chris Back ($355,726), Liberal MP Steve Irons ($336,990), Liberal Stuart Robert ($306,202) and Greens Senator Richard Di Natale ($264,905).

Topics:  expenses, julia gillard, peter slipper, politicians, tony abbott




Driver charged over taxi T-bone

The car crash on the corner of Elphinstone and Dean Streets in Berserker on Monday afternoon.

The driver is due to appear in court next month

What to expect on your next Bruce Hwy road trip

There are major roadworks scheduled for the Bruce Hwy between Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Major road works scheduled, so pack some extra snacks

People unleash on RRC over animal treatment

The dog at the centre of uproar over a council officer's treatment of animals

Woman claims a council officer was cruel towards a dog

Latest deals and offers

Be careful of the words you share

WHETHER we'd like to admit it or not, we all sense that fear that looms darkly in the back of our minds.


Get Set for Summer!

Win One of Ten Prize Packs
Learn More

Fishermen reel in a Classic catch

Jackson Slack with 2.2kg Coral Trout and 4.1kg Sweetlip at the Tight Lines Fishing Classic on Friday.

Fishermen line up to weigh-in big catch for Coast Guard Yeppoon

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

Red hot property for sale

HOT PROPERTY: The building where Red Rooster sits on Musgrave St is for sale.

Musgrave St property up for sales

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia