With all the Coalition seemingly rorting the system by having had their hands in the public cookie jar, one can note that they all went to weddings, but not a single funeral yet... Hopefully Abbott the jet-setter will stop repaying stuff from up to seven years ago and sack himself for being a cheating lying dork...
These were Opposition questions after it was revealed that Workplace Relations Minister Peter Reith had racked up massive phone debts on a service he says he hadn't used for years. He admitted he had given his son his card, a clear breach of the rules, but that only accounts for less than $1,000 worth of misuse. For that he was forgiven, by the Prime Minister at least, but not by the Opposition. Not when they have 'Mr Waterfront Reform' on the back-foot, as chief political correspondent Philip Williams reports from Canberra.PHILIP WILLIAMS: Modern communications, the dog and bone, and today the call went out to Peter Reith - please explain how $50,000 worth of calls were clocked up on his tele-card account, some of which were racked up by his son.Labor's Lindsay Tanner.LINDSAY TANNER: If you were notified of the massive tele-card debt in August last year, can you explain why it wasn't until May this year before you notified the Prime Minister - a delay of nine months?Are you aware that the Prime Minister said earlier today that it was his decision to refer the matter to the Attorney-General who in turn recommended a police investigation? Didn't your nine month delay in informing the Prime Minister delay this police investigation?PHILIP WILLIAMS: Peter Reith says it took until April this year for the Department to investigate the calls. As soon as he was told the detailed bad news, he went to the Prime Minister. The Reith tele-card had taken an international hammering as hard as a dollar.PETER REITH: In the nine month period to the 30th of August there were 619 to Malaysia, 448 calls from Singapore, 317 calls to Singapore, 389 calls from various mobile phones, 478 calls from various countries back to Australia - 2,301 calls in total costing $9,100.45. So my immediate reaction was - well, obviously I haven't been using the card and obviously this card has fallen into, you know, the wrong hands as it were and there was an unauthorised use.PHILIP WILLIAMS: There certainly was. And one of those on the list was Peter Reith's son. He made around $950 worth of calls after dad gave him the card and the pin number so he could keep in touch.Lindsay Tanner again.LINDSAY TANNER: On what basis and on what authority did you provide your son with your tele-card and pin number? Since becoming aware of the fact that your card was being misused, what inquiries have you made to determine how the tele-card and pin number came to be more widely abused?PETER REITH: I did give the card to my son and it was . I should not have done so. There is a Remuneration Tribunal determination which says that you must only use the card personally and I was in breach of that.PHILIP WILLIAMS: A straight breach of the rules. So, what was the penalty?
read more at : http://www.abc.net.au/pm/stories/s197803.htm
Coalition MPs are finding the increased scrutiny of government more than a little uncomfortable, especially on the subject of travel entitlements.
The latest revelation is that Tony Abbott claimed $600 to attend Peter Slipper's wedding in 2006 – which he paid back this week.
This was not an isolated 'mistake' for Abbott. Last week we learnt that he'd claimed expenses for attending Sophie Mirabella's wedding – also since repaid.
In 2011 Abbott was forced to repay $9400 he charged taxpayers after receiving travel expenses in 2009 to promote his book Battlelines.
But even these expenses are a minor portion of his questionable expenses claims. From 2009 to 2012 Abbott claimed over $84,000 in work-related travel entitlements while going on fun runs, ironman and cycling races, attending major sporting events and “volunteering”. He received reimbursement of over $8000, for example, for doing the Pollie Pedal charity ride in 2010-2012.
In contrast, Peter Slipper faces court over alleged inappropriate taxi allowances of less than $1000. Mr Slipper said he found it "breathtaking" that other politicians were allowed to pay back inappropriate entitlements while he faced court for his, despite numerous attempts to repay them.
Even on the most generous reading, it was bizarrely hypocritical for Coalition members to pursue Peter Slipper until his career was destroyed, with these sorts of expense claims on their own record.
Abbott's campaign pledge to "end the waste and mismanagement" must start in his own house.
A Federal MP from Western Australia has claimed more than $5,000 in travel entitlements to go to Cairns on "electorate business".
The Liberal member for the WA seat of Canning, Don Randall, claimed the cost of a one-night stay in the far north Queensland city for himself and his wife, as well as two airfares from Perth each worth $2,388.20.
A week after the November 18 trip, Mr Randall updated his register of members interests to declare that he had bought an investment property in Cairns.
"My wife and I have taken possession of the house at the Cairns location. We intend to rent the house as an investment," he stated in the register on November 26.
A spokeswoman for Mr Randall says the MP has "no comment".
The ABC has asked via email whether the money is within entitlements and whether he intends to repay it.
The story first emerged on Fairfax media this afternoon and is the latest in a string of revelations involving both Coalition and Labor MPs making questionable claims. Some have been repaid.
Two months before Don Randall took his trip to Cairns, a trip that has raised serious questions about his use of expenses, the Liberal MP rose in Federal Parliament to pontificate on the subject of politicians' entitlements.On September 17 last year, Mr Randall told his colleagues in the House of Representatives he saw no reason to support then-independent MP Rob Oakeshott's idea of setting up an unnecessary “huge bureaucracy” to investigate misuse of entitlements.The member for Canning, in Western Australia, who on Wednesday was revealed by Fairfax Media to have spent more than $12,000 on questionable travel and books, claimed to have learnt lessons from the 2009 British expenses scandal, which included politicians billing taxpayers for country house moats, piano tuning, and a floating duck house.He argued the bureaucratic response to the British scandal was overkill.“It is quite well known what the British MPs did in terms of misusing their entitlements to houses and all the other things,” Mr Randall said.“They went to court. They lost their seats,” he said. “But a huge bureaucracy was set up … which would then go on a fishing expedition for nefarious or otherwise behaviour of MPs.”Such bureaucracy was a step too far for Mr Randall, who is an outspoken critic of “government waste”.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/don-randall-rejected-monitoring-mp-expenses-as-huge-bureaucracy-20131016-2vmmu.html#ixzz2hrlm14ynDon Randall, like Tony Abbott and the others should resign... They are taking us for mugs...
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is refusing to take action against a Liberal MP who has spent more than $10,000 of taxpayers' money on questionable expenses, including travel that appears to be linked to his Cairns investment property.As Fairfax Media revealed the most serious allegations so far in the expenses scandal, an Australian Federal Police spokeswoman confirmed the AFP had ''recently received a number of complaints from members of the public in relation to the alleged misuse of entitlements by members of Parliament''. The AFP would not be investigating, saying it had forwarded the information to the Department of Finance.In the latest episode of the scandal that has dominated the early weeks of the Abbott government, West Australian MP Don Randall, a member of the committee that oversees MPs' privileges and entitlements, has refused to account for thousands of dollars worth of questionable taxpayer claims.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/pm-wont-act-on-doubtful-claims-20131016-2vn3u.html#ixzz2hv0lGuSK----------------------How can one sack the fellow in charge of "overseeing" rorts and the robbing the public trough?.... Our little shit in chief is up to his neck in it himself...
Slipper's case is now before the courts and, if found guilty of three counts of ''dishonestly'' causing a risk of loss to the Commonwealth, the man who left the Liberal Party to take on the lucrative job of Speaker could face prison time.Normally a politician would be able to repay any misused entitlements as long as it is ''relatively minor''. Past experience shows that claims of more than $10,000 have been judged minor.Hundreds of dubious claims have been repaid by MPs on the quiet. Data is incomplete but the only comprehensive figures show the payback provision was used 136 times by 56 politicians between 2005 and 2010, totalling $93,044.06.No MP has been referred by the Department of Finance to the federal police, as is allowed.The reason Slipper is before the courts is that a former staff member took the matter straight to the federal police last year and circumvented Finance. Slipper alleges James Ashby was part of a conspiracy by Liberal Party operatives seeking to discredit him after he left the party.Slipper's alleged rorting of Cabcharge expenses for three separate tours of wineries amounted to just $1194, less than a quarter of the cost of the trip by Randall and a family member (believed to be his wife) to Cairns.But the key word when it comes to any criminal investigation leading to court proceedings is ''dishonesty''. Slipper is facing three charges because he allegedly urged his drivers to break up the journeys into separate Cabcharge dockets to avoid any adverse scrutiny from Finance, which monitors and pays entitlements.Yet it appears Randall, too, has been dishonest. He claimed the $5259 cost of his return flight from Perth to Cairns should be drawn from the public purse because he was on ''electorate business''.The evidence suggests his main, if not only, order of business on the rapid turnaround trip was to secure the investment property.While electorate business does not have to be confined to a member's seat, it does involve representing your constituents' interests, rather than your own.Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/dishonesty-separates-the-dubious-claims-20131016-2vn45.html#ixzz2hwS83PiG
WA Liberal MP Rob Johnson has called on his federal colleague Don Randall to resign or be sacked over his travel claims.
Mr Randall came under scrutiny yesterday for spending taxpayers' money on a trip to Cairns with his wife for what he described as "electorate business".
The Member for Canning later disclosed he had taken possession of an investment property in the Queensland city a week later.
Taxpayers also paid for the Coalition MP and his wife to fly from Perth to Melbourne on Saturday, September 15 last year at a cost of $5,203, for what a Department of Finance document says was "sittings of Parliament".
Parliament sat last year the week before that date and resumed on Monday, September 17.
That Saturday night, the West Coast Eagles faced Collingwood in Melbourne in an AFL semi-final.
Mr Johnson says the situation is deplorable and Mr Randall should face consequences.
"He should either resign from Parliament and do the honourable thing, or Tony Abbott should show leadership I think here and sack him," he said.
ABC journalist Barrie Cassidy says the Coalition has asked him to ''step aside'' from his new unpaid role as chair of a committee that advises the federal government on Old Parliament House in Canberra.Mr Cassidy told ABC 24 that the director of the Museum of Australian Democracy, Daryl Karp, had passed on a message from Attorney-General George Brandis.Mr Cassidy said Senator Brandis has asked him to ''step aside or to consider stepping aside''.The Insiders host, who was press secretary to former prime minister Bob Hawke, said he had been told there was nothing personal about the request, but that the Coalition was ''concerned about the process'' of his appointment.On Wednesday, The Australian newspaper reported that former arts minister Tony Burke appointed Mr Cassidy as chair of the Museum of Australian Democracy's advisory council on August 5 – the day after the election was called, but before the writs were issued and the government went into caretaker mode. The paper suggested that the job was as secret appointment done as a political favour.In an interview on Wednesday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that Labor government had ''rushed to appoint its friends to all sorts of positions in the dying days. Barrie Cassidy's a good bloke, I don't begrudge him the appointment. But it did all seem to be done with a certain unseemly haste.''Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/coalition-moves-against-abc-journalist-barrie-cassidy-over-unpaid-role-at-old-parliament-house-20131025-2w5gv.html#ixzz2igrnZLSs---------------------------------For all his former connections with the Bob Hawkes of this world, Barrie Cassidy is far from being a left-wing loonie... In fact his commentaries have had the smell of Liberal (CONservative) tunes often attached to them... I could be wrong of course, but whatever. It's possible that Barrie knows too much about the present cooks in the Canberranean kitchen...
The Federal Government has announced MPs found to have wrongly claimed expenses will be forced to pay a fine as well as repaying the money.
The Government has been under pressure about questionable expense claims made by several of its MPs.
Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson has announced the changes in Canberra this morning.
Under the changes, politicians who have to repay money or adjust their claims will be fined a 25 per cent loading on what they have wrongly claimed.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott repaid about $1,700 he spent attending the weddings of former colleagues Sophie Mirabella and Peter Slipper.
Last month, Mr Abbott told reporters MPs have certain representational roles and he thought the fees were within his entitlements.
Fines? What about expelling the culprits from parliament FOREVER?... Or give them the harakiri option... The definition of going to a weddings have changed since those political rorts... The fact that Tony used the taxpayers to pay for his public charitable frolics shows he is full of himself, full of crap in his own boots... etc
But Commonwealth prosecutor Lionel Robberds said there was a clear distinction.
“In order to travel on parliamentary business, at the very least the purpose of the travel must be for parliamentary business,” Mr Robberds said.
“The purpose of the travel on these three occasions was not for parliamentary business.”
The same "purpose" applies to all those who have scrambled to repay moneys while they were on a rort, a junket or a piss up at a wedding... Abbott, Brandis, Joyce and many others should be prosecuted in the same manner as Peter Slipper is...
The opinions expressed in this site are those of the various authors and contributors and do not reflect those of the site, the site owners or hosting agencies.
Contributors please note that this site is archived in the National Library of Australia in perpetuity.