Liberal Party Senator James McGrath.
Liberal Party Senator James McGrath. ALAN PORRITT

How much Coast senator spent on election 'spin'

SENATOR James McGrath claimed more than two-thirds of his 2016 communications entitlement during the six-week federal election campaign.

The Sunshine Coast-based Liberal senator claimed $34,533 on communications during the six-week campaign, 69 per cent of his entire communications claim in 2016.

He claimed $15,104 for the rest of the year.

There is no suggestion the claims are outside the entitlement rules. There are no rules against parliamentarians using the printing and communications entitlement during election campaigns.

Senator McGrath did not respond to questions on his use of the entitlement.

But experts have called for restrictions to be placed to stop politicians using taxpayer money to advertise themselves to voters, an advantage challengers do not have.

Two Queensland parliamentarians who lost their seats did not spend a cent on printing or communications outside the election campaign.

Former senator Glenn Lazarus and former Sunshine Coast MP Wyatt Roy only used the allowance during the six-week campaign period, with Mr Lazarus claiming almost $100,000 in that period.

Mr Roy, an LNP MP, spent about $23,000 during the campaign and none before the election was called. -NewsRegional

News Corp Australia


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