Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageThe row over Speaker Bronwyn Bishop's parliamentary entitlements claim has become a major distraction for the Coalition.AAP/Mick Tsikas

The opposition has asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether Speaker Bronwyn Bishop broke the law in claiming A$5227 for a helicopter trip between Melbourne and Geelong.

As the political stakes rose over the money – which Bishop has now repaid together with a 25% penalty – Bishop was effectively in hiding. She missed the memorial service held in Parliament House to mark the first anniversary of the downing of MH17, which claimed the lives of 38 Australians.

The manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, said Bishop would not answer a basic question. “Has she or has she not lied on a form which, if you lie on, carries criminal penalties?”

The form covers charter transport for presiding officers, opposition office holders and leaders of a minority party. It says holders of these positions may use charters “for their personal transport in connection with their office holder duties”.

Bishop was attending a Liberal fundraiser when she used the charter on November 5 last year.

The form says: “I understand that knowingly giving false or misleading information is a serious offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995”, and “I certify that I travelled on the charter and it was provided for official purposes”.

Burke said there were times when people made honest mistakes claiming entitlements – he had done so himself.

“But for the life of me I don’t see how someone accidentally gets on a helicopter and ends up at a Liberal fundraiser. For the life of me, I don’t see how anyone argues that a political party fundraiser is part of the official job of being the speaker of the House of Representatives.”

If Bishop had nothing to hide she should just “release the document”, Burke said.

Peter Slipper, a Coalition defector who served as speaker under Labor, faced court action over his claim of less than $1000 for the cost of transport to visit wineries around Canberra. He was convicted but the conviction was later overturned.

The letter to the Australian Federal Police commissioner, Andrew Colvin, has been sent by MP Pat Conroy, the chairman of Labor’s waste watch committee.

Conroy pointed out in the letter that parliamentarians had previously been prosecuted for fraud for deliberately misusing their entitlements. He wrote that it had been reported that Bishop “chartered a luxury helicopter to travel from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a fundraiser for Mr Ron Nelson, who unsuccessfully contested the seat of Bellarine in the state election”.

The row over Bishop has now become a serious distraction for the government, and a matter for much ridicule on social media.

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-helicopter-trip-referred-to-australian-federal-police-44838

Voting is an essential service too. New Zealand can't be afraid to go to the polls, even in lockdown

arrow_forward

Indonesia's coronavirus fatalities are the highest in Southeast Asia. So, why is Jokowi rushing to get back to business?

arrow_forward

Link Building Secrets - Comprehensive Guide

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Link Building Secrets - Comprehensive Guide

Link building has proven to be an effective approach when it comes to promoting your online website. Let's analyze the topic of developing an effective link building strategy for site promotion ...

Julia Smith - avatar Julia Smith

What to Expect from Your NDIS Verification & Certification Audit

The National Disability Insurance Agency administers NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) in Australia. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission governs it. As a welfare support scheme of...

Sarah Williams - avatar Sarah Williams

Why You May Need A Tower Scaffold Hire

When constructing a building, or even a multilevel structure, you must use a tower scaffold to get you into position. What is unique about this type of scaffolding is that you can build it highe...

News Company - avatar News Company



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion