Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg billed taxpayers close to $5,000 for a trip to Lachlan Murdoch’s Christmas party in Sydney last year.
According to The Guardian, the pair jet-setted from Canberra to Sydney on the Prime Minister’s private jet to attend the party during last year’s hellish bushfires, with taxpayers footing the bill for the overnight trip.
According to flight logs, Peter Dutton and Stuart Robert were also on the flight. Robert was travelling to Sydney on official business and didn’t attend the party, but it is unclear if Dutton joined the PM and Treasurer at the bash.
The event took place at the media heir’s multi-million dollar Le Manoir mansion on December 5 last year, when much of the country was being ravaged by bushfires and Sydney was covered in a thick cloud of smoke.
No, the irony of ignoring the bushfire crisis while rubbing shoulders with the climate-change-denying Murdochs is not lost on me.
The Guardian reports that the flight to Sydney cost $2,153, while the flight home cost $2,583.
The group travelled on the Boeing 737 Business Jet, which is one of six “special purpose” planes that are reserved for travel that cannot be taken via commercial airlines.
According to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority, special purpose aircrafts can only be used for the purpose of parliamentary business, and the travel must result in good value for money for the government.
Considering Robert *was* travelling to Sydney for business, the flight there could be justified, but he is not present on the return flight log.
However, The Guardian reports that Frydenberg has continually ignored their questions regarding the trip, particularly if the party was the main reason for it.
But considering the short duration of the trip, and the fact that there are no public records of Frydenberg attending other events during that time, it seems likely that the trip was primarily for the party.