Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has confirmed she’ll pay back the entirety of the travel expenses she claimed on a 2015 trip to the Gold Coast, during which she bought an $795,000 investment property on a whim.
In a statement, Ley apologised for the whole deal. She also said she’d foot any penalties associated with the “erroneous claims,” for which she has received a fair whack of criticism from the federal Opposition.
Ley claims that travelling to the Gold Coast, ostensibly to attend an event at a breast cancer clinic, was “within the rules provided.”
However, she says “I have always sought to apply higher standards for myself” with the taxpayer’s cash, and “while attending an auction was not the reason for my visit to Queensland or the Gold Coast, I completely understand this changed the context of the travel undertaken.
The distinction between public and private business should be as clear as possible when dealing with taxpayers’ money.I have spoken to the Prime Minister and he agrees that this claim does not meet the high standards he expects of Ministers. I apologise for the error of judgement.”