LABOR candidate for Wide Bay Lucy Stanton has slammed Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss over the cost of chartered flights between Canberra and Brisbane last year.
In a statement to the media, Ms Stanton said “Warren Truss as Deputy PM has trumped Bronwyn Bishop with outrageous spending of taxpayer dollars”.
Ms Stanton’s comments refer to $21,570 Mr Truss spent on chartered travel between Canberra and Brisbane on 13 and 14 May 2014.
In her statement, Ms Stanton said Mr Truss claimed more than $20,000 in expenses to attend a conservative breakfast fund-raiser where he spoke of taking steps to ensure the Government is living within its means and to rein in the age of entitlement.
Ms Stanton said she believed Mr Truss, who is the Federal Member for Wide Bay, scheduled the breakfast event knowing Parliament sat during budget week.
“Then he decided to charter a flight for $21,570 to ferry him in luxurious style to the fund-raiser rather than take a commercial flight,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister said Mr Truss is “assiduous” in the spending of his Parliamentary entitlements and confirmed no commercial flights were available to meet “Mr Truss’s ministerial duties on 13 and 14 May 2014.”
“In fact, on 13 May Mr Truss was required to be present in Parliament for the handing down of the 2014 Federal Budget,” the spokesperson said.
“Mr Truss had official commitments in Canberra until about 9pm that evening and was then required to travel to Brisbane to meet another budget-related commitment early the following morning (14 May).
“Parliament was sitting on 14 May, and Mr Truss was required back in Canberra by midday to fulfil ministerial responsibilities.
“Again, timely commercial flights were not available, and Mr Truss legitimately used his charter budget to meet his Parliamentary obligations. This travel was undertaken in strict accordance with the minister’s duties and responsibilities.”
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