Newman says scrutiny of MPs expenses 'gone too far'
QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman believes the scrutiny Federal MPs are facing over expenses has gone too far.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come under intense pressure for claiming travel expenses related to weddings for colleagues Sophie Mirabella and Peter Slipper, $1094 and $600 respectively.
He has paid the money back but has claimed expenses for him and family members to a triathlon in Port Macquarie also involved politician business and he would not pay it back.
Mr Newman said the furore around the expenses revelation had "gone too far".
He said some events might have the appearance of a private event but if it was not a relative or personal friend's event, they should be reimbursed.
"This is the test I would apply," he said.
"Are these politicians visiting family? Are they visiting friends?
"If the answer is no, then they are legitimate work expenses.
"Elective representatives regardless of political persuasion do need to travel - they need to go to places, be seen and talk to people."
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said politicians must apply an ethical and moral test.
She said most Queenslanders and most Australians would not think it was appropriate to claim a colleague's wedding.
"I am very concerned about what has been exposed federally because politicians travelling to their colleagues weddings and claiming expenses, that is not acceptable," she said.
There is a review underway in Queensland to analyse politicians' wages, allowances and expenses, with a report due to be released next week.
Mr Newman said he did not want to pre-empt the results but was clear he did not want allowances to be de facto salaries.
"We want them to be reimbursement of proper expenses of politicians," he said.