Outgoing MPs take “Farewell Tours” on the gravy train
Like bloody fading movie stars, or old crooners these public servants somehow feel entitled to farewell tours, one last greedy grab for a free holiday, shamefully barely masked as a study tour or some other nonsense. How out of step with the community is this rot? How much longer are we going to be treated as fools?
These little piglets need to realise Google is their friend and there is absolutely no need in this day and age with the technology available that they are doing US a service on these junkets, to wine and dine, stay at the best hotels, why we all struggle to pay our weekly bills, little less care about the construction of hand rails in a tourist resort in never never land…
RETIRING federal MPs have splurged almost $400,000 of taxpayer funds on global jaunts that took in the US, France, Italy – and Mongolia.
In the latest example of public waste, It has been revealed a cosy deal between the Coalition and Labor allows departing MPs to have a final lap of honour – at the public’s expense.
They are usually rewarded with first-class airfares to global travel hot-spots.
Only three of the MPs who travelled overseas during the past year or so did not stand at last year’s election.
Of the 19 MPs who spread their wings in the past year, the most expensive trip was taken by Tasmanian Kerry O’Brien.
The ex-Labor senator spent $65,000 over three months in New York from September to December last year as a delegate to the United Nations.
Michael Forshaw, another ex-Labor senator, visited France twice in the space of a few months last year, also travelling to Sweden, the UK and Switzerland on ”overseas study”. His costs were $38,000.
- Not all pollies treated equally Adelaide Now, 4 Jun 2011
- Pollies, staffers in $1.3m travel log The Australian, 16 May 2011
- Pollies could lose free travel pass Herald Sun, 23 Mar 2011
- Politicians must pay their own way Herald Sun, 23 Mar 2011
- No wriggle room for Gillard over perks Herald Sun, 23 Mar 2011
The trip cost about $75,000 but Mr Hawker – who also qualifies for the lifetime gold pass – yesterday said the delegation had done ”good work”.
The trip included former Labor minister Bob Debus, the Nationals’ Kay Hull and ex-Labor senator, Annette Hurley.
Wilson Tuckey, the outspoken ex-Liberal MP, spent almost $25,000 on a ”study tour” of Canada, China and South Korea. He was overseas when the election was called, and subsequently lost his seat.
Among highlights of his 16-day overseas trip, Mr Tuckey wrote of travelling ”to the Canadian ski resort of Whistler to observe the use of rail assets for tourism”.
Danna Vale, who was one of John Howard’s favourite colleagues, also enjoyed her last months in the Parliament.
The former Liberal MP spent almost six weeks in Britain at the height of the European summer last year – at a cool cost of $14,800. Of the 19 former MPs and senators who went global, 11 were members of the Coalition and seven were ALP.
Senior political figures confirm an ”informal agreement” exists that ensures retiring MPs are ”rewarded” with overseas junkets.
But they are not restricted to the major parties. Steve Fielding, the former Family First senator, spent $16,000 on a trip to Europe.