Monday, 9 December 2013

Julie Bishop. What a coincidence

Julie Bishop is an AFL fan.  Until recently she was a board member of the West Coast Eagles club.(1)  Bishop has also recently been described as a thrifty and no fuss traveller who has eschewed first class travel for herself and her department to save taxpayer funds. (2)

So given her concern for taxpayer funds there’d be no chance she would have arranged her official travel to coincide with West Coast Eagles away games or other major AFL games.  Would there? 

Despite being on the West Coast Eagles board, attending AFL games seems to have been official parliamentary duty for Julie Bishop. 
  • A quick check of her Parliamentary Entitlement Reports shows that Bishop just happened to travel - for work related purposes at taxpayer expense - on 13 occasions to places and at times when her beloved West Coast team were playing away games or finals between July 2009 and October 2012. 
  • And Bishop reported additional official travel with entitlement claims that coincided with a futher 13 finals and blockbuster AFL games.
  • Bishop actually declared that she was given tickets to 3 grand finals but still claimed official travel and entitlements to attend each of these games. 
But most damning and comical: there were 5 West Coast – Collingwood games played in Melbourne between 2010 and 2012.  And Julie Bishop just happened to be in Melbourne – on work-related duties at the taxpayer expense - for all five games. 

It’s like a scene from Murial’s Wedding.   Can’t you just imagine the West Coast players (a la Bill Hunter):  “Julie Bishop.  What a coincidence”  

(1) http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/foreign-minister-julie-bishop-resigns-as-eagles-board-member-as-workload-increases/story-fnhocxo3-1226772023473
(2) http://www.news.com.au/national/foreign-minister-julie-bishop-is-australias-own-thrifty-iron-lady/story-fncynjr2-1226761713569

 

SUMMARY 

West Coast Eagles away games

In July 2009 Melbourne v West Coast at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

In August 2009 Adelaide v West Coast in Adelaide and Julie Bishop happens to be in Adelaide – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

In July 2010 Collingwood v West Coast in Melbourne and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

In May 2011 Collingwood v West Coast in Melbourne and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

 

 



In July 2011 Western Bulldogs v West Coast at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne  – at the taxpayers’ expense



 



In Sept 2011 qualifying final Collingwood v West Coast at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense  






In Sept 2011 preliminary final Geelong v West Coast at MCG (afternoon) and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense




 


In March 2012 Preseason final Adelaide v West Coast in Adelaide and Julie Bishop happens to be in Adelaide – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

In April 2012 Greater Western Sydney v West Coast in Sydney and Julie Bishop happens to be in Sydney – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

In April 2012 Richmond v West Coast in Melbourne and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 

In June 2012 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense


   





In August 2012  Hawthorne v West Coast at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense





 




In Sept 2012 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne 
– at the taxpayers’ expense
  
Other blockbuster games
In July 2009 Carlton v Collingwood at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne

– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
In August 2009 Richmond v Collingwood at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne
– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
In May 2010 Essendon v Richmond at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne
– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
In June 2010 Sydney v Collingwood at ANZ in Sydney and Julie Bishop happens to be in Sydney
– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
In April 2011 Collingwood v Carlton at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne
– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
In July 2011 Carlton v Collingwood at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne
– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
In June 2012 Carlton v Hawthorne at MCG and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne
– at the taxpayers’ expense
  
Other finals
In September 2009 Brisbane v Carlton in Brisbane and Julie Bishop happens to be in Brisbane

– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
Grand final in Sept 2009 St Kilda v Geelong and Julie Bishop happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 
Grand final in Sept 2010 Collingwood v St Kilda and Julie Bishop has Grand Final tickets and happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 
Grand final replay in October 2010 Collingwood v St Kilda and Julie Bishop has Grand Final tickets again and just happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense

Grand final in October 2011 Collingwood v Geelong and Julie Bishop has Grand Final tickets and happens to be in Melbourne – at the taxpayers’ expense
 
Grand final Sept 2012 Hawthorne v Sydney and Julie Bishop happens to be in town
– at the taxpayers’ expense
 
All up that's 26 AFL games between July 2009 and October 2012 where Julie Bishop just happened to be in town.

 

 


DETAILS


Consider the 2009 season from July 2009 onwards:

4 July 2009 Melbourne v West Coast at MCG
  • West Coast play in Melbourne and Bishop happens to be in town this day. 
  • Fly from Sydney to Melbourne on 2/7 (it appears the cost of flights were refunded), fly Melbourne to Sydney at taxpayer expense on 4/7 (and on to Perth on the 5th $1696).  No claim of Travel Allowance.  Comcar costs of $80. 

22 August 2009 Adelaide v West Coast in Adelaide
  • Bishop just happened to be in Adelaide on the day of this game.
  • Fly at taxpayer expense from Melbourne to Adelaide on 21/8 ($409 Can – Melb – Adel).  Travel Allowance in Adelaide of $350 + $117.  Fly Adelaide to Perth on 23/8 ($1085). Comcar costs of $237

There is also evidence Bishop was in Melbourne at the time of some AFL blockbuster games:
24 July 2009 Carlton v Collingwood at MCG
  • Bishop travels all the way to Melbourne for one night that coincides with this blockbuster Friday night game.  Fly from Perth to Melbourne on 23/7, fly Melbourne to Perth on 24/7 ($2406).  Travel Allowance of $406.  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $375. 

15 August 2009 Richmond v Collingwood at MCG
  • Bishop again, just coincidentally I’m sure, happened to be in Melbourne. 
  • Fly from Canberra to Melbourne on 13/8 and return Melbourne to Canberra on 16/8 ($2406).  Travel Allowance for 3 nights of $1218.  Comcar costs in Melbourne on 15th of $157. 

Then there was the travel coinciding with the finals
Final week 1: Brisbane v Carlton in Brisbane 5 Sept.
  • Bishop was coincidentally also in Brisbane at this time. 
  • Fly Darwin to Brisbane on 5/9 ($1084).  Travel Allowance for Gold Coast ($340).  Fly Coolangatta to Sydney on 6/9 ($422).  Comcar costs in Brisbane of $414.

And the Grand final on 26 Sept 2009. St Kilda v Geelong.
  • Bishop happened to be in Melbourne on the day of the grand final. 
  • Fly Brisbane to Melbourne on 25/9/09 (Perth – Bris – Melb $2155).  Fly Melbourne to Sydney on 26/9/09 (Melb – Syd – and onto Perth the next day $1710).  Travel Allowance on 25/9/09 in Melbourne ($415).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $469. 

And then there is the 2010 season. 

3 July 2010 Collingwood v West Coast in Melbourne
  • Bishop happens to be in Melbourne at the time West Coast play Collingwood.  I wonder if she managed to get to the game? 
  • Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 2/7/2010 and fly Melbourne to Perth on 4 July ($1593). No claim of Travel Allowance.  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $140.

The blockbuster games:
22 May 2010 Essendon v Richmond at MCG
  • Bishop travels to Melbourne for just one night and it just happens to coincide with this Saturday night blockbuster game. 
  • Fly Perth to Melbourne on 22 May ($2410).  Travel Allowance in Melbourne ($415).  Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 23 May ($362).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $247.

26 June 2010 Sydney v Collingwood at ANZ in Sydney
  • Bishop travels to Sydney for one evening and coincidentally there is a Sydney v Collingwood game on that very night.
  • Fly Canberra to Sydney on 26 June ($226 + $45).  Travel Allowance in Sydney ($415).  Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 27 June ($480).  Comcar costs in Sydney of $247.

And then the finals
Grand final:  Collingwood v St Kilda 25 Sept. 
  • Bishop declares gift of tickets to game. And claims official expenses for travel and accommodation.
  • Fly Perth – Melbourne on 24/9 ($1177).  Travel Allowance for 2 nights ($840).  Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 26/9 ($257).  Comcar costs in Melbourne ($654). 

Grand final replay 2 October.
  • Bishop declares gift of tickets to game. And again claims work-related travel expenses. 
  • Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 1/10 and Melbourne to Perth on 2/10 ($1592).  Travel Allowance in Melbourne for 1 night ($420).  Comcar costs in Melbourne ($515). 

And then the 2011 season:

29 May 2011 Collingwood v West Coast in Melbourne (afternoon game)
  • Bishop again just happens to travel to the same city as a Collingwood - West Coast game. And claims official travel expenses. 
  • Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 26 May ($1233.58).  Travel Allowance in Melbourne for 3 nights ($1260).  Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 29 May.  Comcar costs in Melbourne ($481).
30 July 2011 Western Bulldogs v West Coast in Melbourne (afternoon game)
  • Bishop is in Melbourne on official duties and claiming travel expenses, but tweets that she is at the ground watching the game.  What a coincidence.
  • Fly Perth to Melbourne on 28 July.  Travel Allowance in Melbourne for 2 nights ($560).  Charter flight from Melbourne to Wangaratta after game on 30 Julty ($3732).  Comcar costs in Melbourne ($277).

And the blockbusters again:
8 April 2011 Collingwood v Carlton at MCG.
  • Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 7 April, but no report of return flight.  No Travel Allowance and no Comcar on day of game.  But Comcar expenses in Melbourne on 7 April and in Sydney on 9 April. 

16 July 2011 Carlton v Collingwood at MCG
  • Was Bishop able to attend this afternoon game in Melbourne prior to her flight back to Perth?
  • Fly Alice Springs to Melbourne on 15 July ($759).  Travel Allowance in Melbourne on 15 July ($420).  Fly Melbourne to Perth on 16 July ($759).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $494. 

And the final series:
Final week 1: Sept 10 2011 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG
  • Bishop again in town for one night which coincides with a West Coast – Collingwood match! But clearly it was all about the official duties. 
  • Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 10 Sept ($476).  Travel Allowance in Melbourne on 10 Sept ($424).  Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 11 September ($317).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $512. 

Final week 3: Sept 24 2011 Geelong v West Coast at MCG (afternoon game)
  • Bishop spends one night in Melbourne on official duties.  Claims travel expenses.  Just coincidentally at the same time West Coast play in finals. Bishop tweets how exciting it had been to watch the eagles at the MCG despite the loss. 
  • Fly Brisbane to Melbourne on 23 Sept ($864).  Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Melbourne ($424).  Fly Melbourne to Perth on 24 Sept ($1346).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $496. 

2011 Grand final: Collingwood v Geelong 1 October
  • Bishop declares tickets to game. But again, it's official duties and taxpayer funds. 
  • Fly Perth to Melbourne on 30/September ($1346).  Travel Allowance for 1 night ($424).  Fly Melbourne to Adelaide on 1 October ($266).  Comcar costs in Melbourne ($725). 

And then the 2012 season

This year Bishop really goes for it, commencing before the season even begins. 
17 March 2012 Preseason final Adelaide v West Coast in Adelaide
  • WCE are in the preseason final and, coincidentally Bishop happens to be in Adelaide on the very same day  - arriving the day of the match and departing the following day (at taxpayer expense of course)
  • Fly Perth to Adelaide 17 March. Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Adelaide ($123). Fly Adelaide to Sydney (and onwards) on 18 March (Total flights $3364).  Comcar costs in Adelaide of $80. 

15 April 2012 Greater Western Sydney v West Coast in Sydney
  • WCE play the new GWS team in Sydney and coincidentally Bishop happens to be in Sydney at the same time. 
  • Fly Adelaide to Sydney on 15 April ($1328 includes later Melb to Sydney flight).  Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Sydney ($424).  Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 16 April ($574).  Comcar costs in Sydney of $174. 

29 April 2012 Richmond v West Coast in Melbourne
  • Another WCE match in Melbourne and Bishop is in town again. 
  • Fly Perth to Melbourne on 25 April ($1434).  Travel Allowance for 4 nights in Melbourne, including 28th and 29th ($1696).  Fly Melbourne to Perth on 30 April ($826).  Comcar costs in Melbourne on 29 April ($314).

23 June 2012 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG. 
  • This is getting comical.  WCE in Melbourne to play Collingwood and who’s in town? 
  • Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 21 June (cost with Perth flight $2008).  Travel Allowance for 3 nights in Melbourne ($1272). Flight Melbourne to Sydney (then Canberra $983).  Comcar costs on 23rd of $158.

31 August 2012  Hawthorne v West Coast at MCG
  • What more can be said at this point.  One night in Melbourne on official duties that coincides with a big Friday night match involving WCE
  • Fly Sydney to Melbourne on 31 August.  Travel Allowance for overnight stay in Melbourne ($424).  Fly Melbourne to Perth on 1 September (total cost from Perth $2122).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $209. 

And the blockbusters again:
    29 June 2012 Carlton v Hawthorne at MCG.
    • Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 28 June.  Travel Allowance for 2 nights in Melbourne ($848).  Fly Melbourne to Sydney (total cost flights $1465). 

    And the final series:
    Final week 1: WCE play in Perth.

    Final week 2: Sept 15 2012 Collingwood v West Coast at MCG (Saturday night game)
    • No. Please stop it.  It’s just too much.  “Deidre Chambers!  What a coincidence”. 
    • Fly Canberra to Melbourne on 15 Sept ($321).  Travel Allowance in Melbourne on 15 Sept ($424).  Fly Melbourne to Canberra on 16 September ($509).  Comcar costs in Melbourne of $447. 

    2012 Grand final: Hawthorne v Sydney 29 September 2012
    • Bishop spends a few days in Melbourne.  On day before game flies Sydney to Melbourne ($365).  Travel Allowance for three nights (26 to 28 September) in Melbourne ($1287).  Fly Melbourne to Adelaide (and on to Perth, $1607).  Comcar costs in Melbourne on 28th and 29th of $230.