Wednesday, 31 July 2013

6 Attending major sporting events

Not only does Tony “Travel Allowance” Abbott claim travel, accommodation and other expenses for his “volunteer” fund raising on the pollie pedal AND claim travel, accommodation and other expenses while participating in fun runs, ocean swims and bike rides AND claim travel, accommodation and other expenses while “volunteering” in remote indigenous communities, TA also claims travel, accommodation and other expenses to watch major sporting events. Here are four examples where he claims over $12300 in expenses to attend cricket, AFL, tennis and V8 supercars. 

According to the register of members’ interests, TAbbott received hospitality from the MCC and Cricket Australia to attend the 4th Ashes test in Melbourne on Boxing Day 2010, and was accompanied by Margie.
Always on the job, the 2011 report on parliamentary entitlements shows that TAbbott claimed work expenses on the 26 December 2010:
   $955.38 for flights from Sydney to Melbourne and return
   $171 for comcar costs in Melbourne and
   $955.38 for family flights from Sydney to Melbourne and return.
So that’s $2081.76 in work-related expenses for TA to attend the cricket.

According to the register of members’ interests, TAbbott was the guest of Theiss at the men’s final of the Australian Open on 29 Jan 2012.
The 2012 report on parliamentary entitlements shows that TAbbott also claimed work expenses on 29 Jan 2012:
   $424 in Travel Allowance for staying overnight in Melbourne on 29/1
   $771.11 for flights from Sydney to Melbourne on 29/1 and return to Canberra on 30/1
   $515.87 for comcar costs in Melbourne on 29/1 and 30/1
So that’s $1710.98 in work-related expenses for TA to attend the tennis

According to the register of member’s interests, TAbbott was the guest of the AFL at the grand final on 1 October 2011.
But TA obviously went to Melbourne primarily for work-related purposes as the 2011 report on parliamentary entitlements shows that TAbbott claimed his travel as a work expense:
   $424 in Travel Allowance for staying overnight in Melbourne on 30/9
   No separate cost provided for flights from Brisbane to Melbourne on 30/9 and Melb to Syd on 1/10 but estimate as $823.80
   $461.51 for comcar costs in Melbourne on 1/10
   $823.80 for family flights from Syd-Melb -Syd on 1/10
   $88.86 for family comcar costs in Melb on 1/10
So that’s $2621.97 in work-related expenses for TA to attend the AFL grand final

TAbbott attended the Bathurst 1000 V8 supercars on 9 October 2011 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyabbott/6228034413/)
But according to the 2011 report on parliamentary entitlements TAbbott claimed work expenses on 9 October:
   No Travel Allowance as he didn’t stay overnight
   No commercial flight costs
   $262.43 for two comcar trips in Sydney on 9 October
   $5623.73 for a chartered flight from Sydney to Bathurst and return on 9 October
So that’s $5886.16 in expenses for TA to attend the Bathurst 1000 *

All up that’s $12300.87 in work-related travel expenses for just four major sporting events.

Are these genuine work expenses for an opposition leader? Perhaps more importantly, are these appropriate expense claims for an opposition leader who lectures others about character, honesty and managing expenses?



(information from same sources and http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_business/committees/house_of_representatives_committees?url=pmi/declarations.htm)

*  Poor Tony.  As a point of comparison Joe Hockey declared in his register of interests that he was the guest of Aviation Transport at the Bathurst V8 supercars in 2010 and they covered the cost of his attendence and charter travel.  Hockey seems to have made no claim of public expenses.  It's a shame that Tony had to rely on the Australian taxpayers to fund his V8 experience.