FREE-SPENDING Peter Slipper used an Australian naval vessel to transport his shopping back from the Middle East.
The revelation came as calls mounted yesterday for parliament to conduct a 10-year audit of Mr Slipper's expense claims in line with a petition signed by 2700 Coast residents.
Sources revealed that the new Speaker of the House of Representatives had used HMAS Ballarat in 2006 to bring back to Australia two lamps he had bought.
Mr Slipper had been part of an Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program which gives MPs first-hand experience of the military in action to better inform their policy making.
Six parliamentarians took part in the trip.
They were split into two groups of three, given uniforms and worked alongside soldiers, sailors and airmen to give them a better perspective of life in the military.
A source told the Daily that Mr Slipper's first and overriding concern was whether he could take or buy alcohol, something which was simply not allowed.
Mr Slipper denied yesterday that he had instigated the unusual transport arrangement.
"I was happy to take a couple of lampshades I had bought back with me on the plane, however, the ship offered to take them instead and I accepted the offer,'' Mr Slipper said.
However the Daily's source has a different recollection, saying that Mr Slipper had been unable to carry them home on the military flight.
"Mr Slipper found no trouble imposing on the captain of the warship, Commander Mal Wise, to look after the shopping and return it to Australia,'' the source said.
Some months later a perturbed Mr Slipper was asking why he could not get in touch with Commander Wise to pick up his lamps.
According to our source, arrangements were ultimately made for the Member to be reunited with his shopping.
The source said that before the trip Mr Slipper had asked whether he could do the leg to Dubai on an Emirates flight rather than the ADF chartered weekly sustainment flight but was told that would defeat the purpose of the program.
He again inquired whether he could take alcohol on the flight.
As more than 300 people voted yesterday in our online poll for a by-election in Fisher, one of the signatories to the Sunshine Coast Daily's petition demanded the Department of Finance conduct a 10-year audit of Mr Slipper's expense claims. He called for everyone who signed it to bombard the government with demands for it to act.
Michael Shaw, of Noosaville, said he was livid that the matter had still to be brought back before parliament.
"As a signatory of that petition and also on behalf of the thousands of other petitioners I respectfully request your earliest response for the reason or reasons why this petition appears to have been trapped in the clutches of your committee and given its gravity, not brought expediently before the parliament prior to its last sitting day for this year,'' he wrote in an email to John Murphy, the petition committee chairman and Labor MP for Reid.
The Daily understands that Mr Murphy referred the petition to the Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, who in turn handed it to the Department of Finance.
Petitioners who want the petition to be brought back to the House of Representatives should write to John Murphy at John.Murphy.MP@aph.gov.au or Special Minister of State Gary Gray at Gary.Gray.MP@aph.gov.au