High-flying Premier’s expenses take off
THE Palaszczuk Government ministry has spent $2.22 million traversing the globe since being elected in 2015, with the Premier racking up almost $730,000 on her own.
New figures show Annastacia Palaszczuk has spent more than $150,000 travelling the world in the past 12 months - more than former premier Campbell Newman spent in his three-year tenure.
Ministers spent $355,000 in the past financial year and Ms Palaszczuk, who is also Trade Minister, has spent $153,726, adding up to a grand total of $508,735.
That included trips by Ms Palaszczuk to Japan, China, South Korea, UAE, Germany, and the UK.
The Opposition says the Premier and her team have been busy "sipping champagne in the pointy end of the plane" while the Government says they've been selling the state to the world.
"Imagine being a farmer battling the crippling effects of drought hearing that Annastacia Palaszczuk has spent $153,000 seeing the world in the past 12 months," Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said.
"When the Jackie Trad scandal first broke, Labor thought the best way to avoid scrutiny was to send her to New York, London and Paris. Labor are simply out of touch with ordinary Queenslanders."
She said the spending was wrong while Queensland battled the worst unemployment rate of the nation and hospital waiting lists were growing.
A spokesman for the Premier said some of the achievements made through travel included growing merchandise exports to record levels, an expansion of the Korean-owned Sunmetals plant near Townsville, expansion of the Byerwen mine in the Bowen Basin in a joint venture with Japan's JFE Steel and the attraction of Baz Lurman's Elvis movie to the Gold Coast.
"It's simple, travel equals trade and trade equals jobs," he said. "The international travel costs the LNP complains the Premier should not have spent have secured billions of dollars worth of investment and thousands of jobs for Queenslanders. And it cost less than just one LNP MP - Jeff Seeney - spent on charter flights between Brisbane and his electorate."