Former Speaker Peter Slipper.
Former Speaker Peter Slipper. Warren Lynam

Slipper racks up more travel costs

AUSTRALIAN Federal Police will not say if officers have interviewed federal Speaker Peter Slipper in relation to allegations about his use of Cab Charge dockets.

On June 6, AFP Commissioner Tony Negus said solicitors for Mr Slipper had indicated he would present himself for interview.

The AFP refused to confirm yesterday whether that interview had taken place or whether it had been scheduled.

The Member for Fisher has left Australia for Parliament's winter recess on an 18-day, taxpayer-funded trip to the Middle East which includes his official attendance at the funeral of former Israel Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.

He will also visit Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan.

Sources in Canberra said the trip had been organised before allegations were made by former Slipper staffer James Ashby.

As well as allegations of Cab Charge misuse, Mr Slipper is also facing a civil action brought by Mr Ashby, who has alleged he was sexually harassed.

Mr Slipper has also been under fire for his extravagant use of entitlements.

The latest report into spending by Members of Parliament shows his taste for taxpayer-funded travel has not abated.

In the period July 1-December 31, 2011, Mr Slipper claimed more than $235,000 in various entitlements.

Additional expenditure claimed through the Department of the House of Representatives in his role as Speaker has yet to be disclosed.

By comparison, neighbouring federal MP Alex Somlyay, the Member for Fairfax, claimed just $13,698 in travel allowances, nothing for overseas travel, $15,137.96 for domestic fares, $4573.31 for phone calls, $8157.48 in vehicle costs, $68,493.12 in office expenses, $21,271.83 for office administration, and nothing for family travel.

Member for Longman Wyatt Roy's claims were the most modest of Coast MPs.

He claimed just $9800 in travel allowance, $9626.43 in domestic air fares, nothing on overseas travel, $11,291.69 in vehicle costs, $37,980.76 on office costs, $3780 on fit out and $83,743.73 on administration.

He had a phone bill of $5935.96 and claimed $798.16 for family travel.

To the north, Wide Bay member and Nationals leader Warren Truss claimed $28,926 in travel allowance, nothing on overseas travel, $35,441.15 on domestic airfares, a further $7968.18 on charter flights, and $21,465.68 on vehicle costs.

He claimed $45,582.92 on his office, $80,623.65 on administration, $6247.59 on phones and $9316.90 on family travel.

 

THE CLAIMS BREAKDOWN

Mr Slipper's claims from July 1-December 31, 2011:

  • Travel allowance $21,183
  • Overseas travel $25,916.49
  • Domestic airfares $30,153.65
  • Vehicle expenses $25,707.64
  • Office expenses $67,265.57
  • Other office admin $43,128.51
  • Phone calls $8610.10
  • Family travel $13,275.11

The figures do not include expenditure claims through the House of Representatives in his role as Speaker



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