Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageSpeaker Bronwyn Bishop will pay back entitlements for a charter helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong, return.AAP/Mick Tsikas

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has promised to reimburse A$5227 in taxpayers' money that she spent on a helicopter flight between Melbourne and Geelong to attend a Liberal fundraiser in November.

Bishop will also pay a 25% loading under rules introduced by this government for when entitlements have been wrongly claimed.

As the extraordinary spending was seized on by the opposition and embarrassed the government, Bishop moved to try to deal with the damage by writing to Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson, saying she would pay back the money for the return trip – which, if done by car, would have taken something over an hour each way and cost a few hundred dollars.

“Whilst my understanding is that this travel was conducted within the rules, to avoid any doubt, I will reimburse the full costs,” Bishop said.

Treasurer Joe Hockey cut Bishop no slack when questioned on radio. Asked whether the trip passed a “sniff test”, he said “look, instinctively, it doesn’t”, and said she needed to explain.

The helicopter trip is only one aspect of the entitlements controversy in which Bishop is embroiled. She spent more than $300,000 on overseas trips in a year. This included more than $88,000 when she led a parliamentary delegation to Italy, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland. During this trip, when she was accompanied by two staff members, she was seeking election to the presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which she failed to secure.

Before backing down over the Geelong trip, Bishop’s spokesman had said on Wednesday: “The Speaker had a number of meetings during her visit to Victoria and always seeks to fit in as many meetings and events into her schedule as is possible.”

He said that “because of her concern for the country, she works as hard as she can and wishes she could do even more”.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said this was “the sort of arrogance, using taxpayer funds to attend a party-political event” that made Australians so angry.

“We have vulnerable families, low-income families, being slugged thousands of dollars by the Abbott government, and yet we have Mrs Bishop who thinks she is so important that she can’t even be bothered getting a car between Melbourne and Geelong, a one-hour car trip.”

After a series of controversies over dubious or inappropriate entitlement claims, including by Tony Abbott in opposition, the government announced that parliamentarians would have to pay a 25% loading on any expenses incorrectly claimed.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/bishop-pays-back-more-than-5000-for-geelong-helicopter-trip-44772

If architecture is the canary in the coalmine, the outlook for construction is appalling


Why heritage protection is about how people use places, not just their architecture and history


Yes, street art is on public display — but that doesn't mean we should share it without credit


The Conversation


Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

FORDHAM: Thank you very much for talking to us. I know it's a difficult day for all of those Qantas workers. Look, they want to know in the short term, are you going to extend JobKeeper?   PRI...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison interview with Neil Mitchell

NEIL MITCHELL: Prime minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, how are you?   MICHELL: I’m okay, a bit to get to I apologise, we haven't spoken for a while and I want to get t...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham

PRIME MINISTER: I've always found that this issue on funerals has been the hardest decision that was taken and the most heartbreaking and of all the letters and, you know, there's been over 100...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Understanding Your NextGen EHR System and Features

NextGen EHR (Electronic Health Records) systems can be rather confusing. However, they can offer the most powerful features and provide some of the most powerful solutions for your business’s EHR ne...

Rebecca Stuart - avatar Rebecca Stuart

SEO In A Time of COVID-19: A Life-Saver

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a lot of uncertainty for everyone across the world. It has had one of the most devastating impacts on the day-to-day lives of many including business o...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

5 Ways Risk Management Software Can Help Your Business

No business is averse to risks. Nobody can predict the future or even plan what direction a business is going to take with 100% accuracy. For this reason, to avoid issues or minimise risks, some for...

News Company - avatar News Company

News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion