Julie Bishop the latest MP named in expenses scandal

Julie Bishop is one Government MP that some of you here at Starts at 60 are actually a fan of.
Julie Bishop. Source: YouTube

Julie Bishop is one Government MP that some of you here at Starts at 60 are actually a fan of.

But she’s coming under fire this morning after she was the latest MP to be named in an expenses scandal.

Yes, that’s right, Bishop charged taxpayers to attend an event as well!

The ABC reports the Foreign Minister charged us taxpayers $2716 – including $416 on car travel and $2177 on flights – to attend a polo match in Portsea in Victoria in January last year.

It’s reported she was a guest of Peroni and Jeep, and pictures of her at the event show her rubbing shoulders with socialites, models and Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances.

According to Bishop’s office, she attended in an “official capacity”.

“The Minister was invited and attended in her official capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party,” a statement released by her office said.

It turns out she topped the expenses claims for the first six months of 2016, claiming $839,810.18 – most of which was in overseas travel.

That’s more than Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s $612,099 and Sussan Ley’s  $497,312.64.


And she’s not the only one copping heat this morning.

It turns out an MP and two senators charged taxpayers to attend the 2013 AFL Grand Final.

Senator Mathias Cormann, who is the head of the department overseeing politicians’ entitlements, charged taxpayers $3533 for airfares so he and his wife could attend the Grand Final.

Apparently he had “official commitments” in Melbourne during the grand final weekend.

“As well as portfolio-related meetings on Friday, the Minister had Melbourne-based media commitments — both on Saturday and Sunday — morning as well as a series of other portfolio-related commitments in Melbourne,” his office said in a statement to the ABC.

Meanwhile, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo sent taxpayers a bill for $1,102 to attend the Grand Final and Tasmanian senator David Bushby claimed $863 for his flights to attend the game.

So, what are the rules for politicians’ travel expenses?


The Ministerial Standards don’t allow travel for private purposes.

“Ministers must be scrupulous in ensuring the legitimacy and accuracy of any claim for entitlement to ministerial, parliamentary or travel allowance,” the standards state.

“Although [ministers’] public lives encroach upon their private lives, it is critical that ministers do not use public office for private purposes.”

The whole saga just keeps going!

What do you think about this? Is the age of entitlement over for politicians?

  1. Ian Robinson  

    They expect everyone else’s age of entitlement to end, so why not theirs? The latest travel expenses rorts are a clear indication that these people do not learn from other’s mistakes(although it is only a mistake when these trough grovelers are found out) but they should know right from wrong and if they don’t know that, should they be “running” our still great country? How much longer we remain great with this rabble in charge is a story for another time!!

  2. rikda  

    You’ld have to pretty short of friends to be a fan of Madam Butterfly.
    “Why should litigants that are terminal have their cases move forward?”
    “Nothing to see in West Papua”
    She has the morals of an ally cat.
    $30,000 charter flight for her & her boyfriend.
    Royal Commission on the whole swamp & a review of their incomes.
    Too much largess in Australian politics & too little integrity to control it.

  3. Denise Dobinson  

    I don’t know why they nearly always say their private lives encroach on their public lives. If they have a private commitment they should not include publi commitments at the same time unless it is absolutely essential. These people know when they chose a political career that a lot of their time will be made up of some travel and time away from family. So why should the taxpayer pay for their family to go on holidays etc. Does the Government pay for defence force personnel to take their families on holiday when the have been away from family defending their country. No they get a special allowance while serving overseas so why don’t politicians receive a yearly allowance that cover travel and living away from home and when that runs out they pay for themselves. Also if they are claiming Living away from home allowances to live in a property owned by a family member then the allowances should be smaller then if they were paying market rent. No one in politics will do anything about it as they are all guilty of doing this.

  4. patricia dick  

    If they get invited to attend any event, the people running the event should pay all their expenses.
    I think what is the worst thing is that they actually feel entitled to all of this, whilst cutting
    services etc to most Australians.

    • Warren Martin  

      I agree, members of parliament are invited to all types of events. Like you and me they should pay to get to the event notwithstanding the invitation that means no cost of entry and often includes a meal and drinks.

  5. Suzann Young  

    It’s bloody disgusting, it should ALL BE STOPPED NOW.

    • Marian LEY  

      They are “ALL” doing it , everyone of them , not just liberal but labor idiots as well so the rules haveto be changed across the board., right down to the country shire councels because they are doing the same. The only reason it is in the media is because labor wants to gain ground mo other reason. “THEY ALL HAVE THEIR SMOUTS IN THE TROUGH”.

  6. Guy Flavell  

    The whole situation re politicians’ expenses has become completely ludicrous. Claiming expenses
    for bloody stupid polo matches, AFL grand finals, NYE parties, pollies’ weddings, private property purchases, family holidays, etc is totally beyond the pale. There are absolutely NO excuses for
    this deplorable behaviour from our pollies and they must be taken to task. Why don’t we all send
    letters of serious complaint to our local MPs and bury them with our angst. Both sides of politics
    are equally guilty of these travesties, ie: Tony Burke’s antics and Bill Shorten’s gigantic ‘family’ costs.

  7. John  

    Am I naive or are all the Labour politicians that squeaky clean they have never used travel entitlements to go anywhere the only people the Media are reporting on are the Libs

    • I’m fed up with the lot of them. Worked my arse off for 50 years and now on pension, BUT since this Centrelink debacle started, the so called “Government for the people” have relieved me of $3 per fortnight from the pension. Unbelievable!! So who do we vote for in the next election? That is the million dollar question.

    • Mareela  

      Makes a nice change doesn’t it John?

    • Colin SC  

      The right wing media are reporting as little as they can and mitigating this as much as they can. If Labor are caught doing this the press (and LNP) no nuts. Labor are certainly not squeaky clean but a damn site cleaner than the LNP. Definitely not the same.

  8. Anna Katnich  

    I have no problem of our ministers traveling on taxpayers expense as long is for no other reason then offical part of the job, but constant breaches need to be addressed as this kind of behaviour can’t be tolerated, clear guidelines should be put in place so this can’t happen.
    Frankly I am tired of constant bickering this peaopel have been voted by the public to govern and they are doing little of that at the moment.

    • Mareela  

      Anna this government has been in over 3 years now and has done nothing to help Australia or Australians. This scandal is just one of many. They have shown themselves incapable of governing.

  9. Mary Heffernan  

    Another hand in the taxpayers’ pockets, clawing money from the poor and the vulnerable!. Why am I surprised, when this LNP Government is SO out of touch with the taxpayer that they think we’ll applaud when they rip us off once again! Don’t they get paid for the job they do? Why not be like their constituents, and USE THEIR OWN MONEY FOR A CHANGE? This sort of detachment from the “real” world is what caused the downfall of the French and Russian royal courts. And Turnbull does a dummy spit about Union corruption? What a joke!! Clean up your own backyard, mate!

  10. Clive L D utton  

    Being a self-funded retiree and paying taxes all my working life, it makes me sad and angry to think politicians can, and do claim expenses that others in the community cannot. They were elected to run the country and just look at the state of affairs in all walks of life, pretty sad in my view! For one thing the youth are not being trained to replace those who leave the workforce. Small businesses are hit with charges from every direction whilst big business employ ‘legal eagles’ to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Why can’t we, as a society, see the damage being done all around us and attempt to set a course that will make life better for us all ! …it is up to us now, we cannot count on ‘public figures’ to do the right thing anymore.

    • Avril Robertson  

      Oh how right you are Clive, especially regarding our youth not being given the chance to make a go of their lives. So very, very sad.

    • Wiso  

      Yes Clive it is sad to see the way the country is being governed over the past 10 years or so.

      I have no issue with politicians using their employment entitlements and pursuing private matters in their own time while travelling, because all public servants and business people, and also some PAYG employees are entitled to do the very same thing.

      I too am a self-funded retiree and still pay tax and what makes me more angry is the offensive amounts of money given in foreign aid for absolutely no benefit to Australia, and all the welfare and administrative expense expended on illegal immigrants, also of absolutely no benefit to Australia. It also upsets me that so many foreign owned companies do not pay tax in Australia and although they do employ a lot of people who do pay tax, all the profit goes overseas instead of staying here.

      It is time for Australia to resign from the UN treaties and start looking after our own instead of blindly looking out for the rest of the world at our expense.

  11. Valerie  

    Personally, I have no problem with pollies from any party attending a private function if they were already going to be in the locality for official duties. But using taxpayer money to fund attendance to ONLY private functions is entirely another matter.
    I’m also happy for there to be SOME “perks” for pollies. And yes ….. I am a pensioner.

    • Wiso  

      Valerie it is so good to hear the voice of reason in your comment.

      I too do not have a problem with pollies attending to private business in their own time when they are away on official duties. The polo match mentioned in the article was an official duty so there is no issue here, only the one created by media.

      I am a self-funded retiree because of compulsory superannuation so I get no concessions whatsoever unlike Age Pensioners but I don’t begrudge the pollies the perks of their employment.

  12. Shona Fenn  

    It is only when the media uncovers these rorts that these pollies are pushed into rectifying the problems. I won’t say shamed into rectifying the problems because they quite obviously have no shame!! It is like putting foxes in acharge of the henhouse! A thoroughly indepent tribunal, not one run by any arm of the government, should police these people and they and all the past pollies should be made to get off the gravy train!!

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