Australian Political Expenses Scandal Continues, Julie Bishop Faces Scrutiny

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ABC

(SMH) — Julie Bishop is the latest Turnbull government minister facing scrutiny over taxpayer-funded travel claims, amid growing calls for an overhaul of politicians’ travel expenses.

The Foreign Affairs Minister charged taxpayers $2716 to attend the Portsea Polo event on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in January last year as a guest of beer maker Peroni and car company Jeep.

On Wednesday, Ms Bishop’s office defended her expense claims to attend the exclusive event.

“The Minister was invited and attended in her official capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.”

Department of Finance records show Ms Bishop spent $2177 on flights from Perth to Melbourne via Sydney, claiming $416 for car travel and a further $123 for the MPs’ standard travel allowance.

Other guests at the event included sports stars, socialites, models and former prime minister Tony Abbott’s daughter, Frances Abbott.

Ms Bishop is reportedly planning to attend the event again this weekend with her partner David Panton, as guest of Italian car giant Alfa Romeo.

It has also been revealed that three other MPs – two Turnbull government ministers and a Tasmanian senator – claimed thousands for a trip to the AFL grand final in 2013.

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