Phil Ashley

Where to check politician's expenses for yourself

GYMPIE region's federal and state politicians have declared their expenses, in the wake of scandals involving others at a federal and state level.

All of them were happy to provide readers with internet access to the appropriate websites to allow all of us to monitor their spending of public money.

At a federal level, Wide Bay's LNP representative Llew O'Brien said he used his electorate allowance, a car and a travel budget "to service the needs of more than 104,000 people spread across 14,573sq.km" across a huge and diverse electorate.

And huge is certainly right.

"My area of responsibility extends from Peregian Beach in the south to Aldershot in the north and from Fraser Island in the east to Murgon in the west.

"It includes Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, Cooloola Cove, Gympie, the Mary Valley, Cooran, Pomona, Cooroy, Noosa, the South Burnett, Gunalda, Glenwood, Bauple, Tiaro and Maryborough.

"As I serve in the Australian parliament, I am provided with flights to Canberra and a travel allowance which covers hotel accommodation.

"I am a member of a number of parliamentary committees including Indigenous Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, which may also require some travel to consult with people and industry groups."

Mr O'Brien said he accepted a responsibility to use his expenses, not only according to the rules, but according to public expectations and said expenses of all federal MPs are available at https://www.finance.gov.au/ publications/ parliamentarians-reporting/

Gympie region's two main state representatives are the LNP representatives for Gympie (Tony Perrett) and Callide (Jeff Seeney).

Mr Seeney's electorate takes in a large area of the region from Bells Bridge westwards to Goomeri.

Mr Perrett said "parliamentary entitlements and allowances are set by an independent tribunal and endorsed by the Queensland parliament.

"These allowances include a general travel allocation and are only paid following an exhaustive acquittal process by parliamentary officers.

"State members pay up front and put in a claim. My claims have been strictly prudent, reasonable and judicious and well below the allocation".

Mr Seeney referred readers to the online site: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/tabled-papers/online-tabled-papers.

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