Daily 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

Writers Wanted

Explainer: why the government can't simply cancel its pandemic debt by printing more money

arrow_forward

At the heart of the broken model for funding aged care is broken trust. Here's how to fix it

arrow_forward

Kaspersky paints Australia’s future of a driverless era

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

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

Business News

What Few People Know About Painters

What do you look for when renting a house? Most potential tenants look for the general appearance of a house. If the house is poorly decorated, they are likely to turn you off. A painter Adelaide ...

News Co - avatar News Co

Important Instagram marketing tips

Instagram marketing is one of the most important approaches for digital advertisers. If you want to promote products online, then Instagram along with Facebook is the perfect option. After Faceboo...

News Co - avatar News Co

Top 3 Accident Law Firms of Riverside County, CA

Do you live in Riverside County and faced an accident and now looking for a trusted Law firm to present your case? If yes, then you have come to the right place. The purpose of the article is to...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion