The best and funniest pollie expenses rorts
EXPENSES scandals are nothing new to Australian politics - we've had plenty of clangers over the years. There was the time good ol' boy Barnaby Joyce made use of his "overseas study" entitlement to help him attend a wedding in India.
Of course overseas study for Barnaby was money well spent. I mean look at the bloke - nothing says culture like Barnaby wobbling around a room full of people with a gutful of curry and some nice Punjabi tunes jangling away in the background.
Very important to add he also had a short meeting with some Malaysian officials on that trip - the time might have been short but they left a large impression upon Mr Joyce who said "it was of great assistance in familiarising myself with Malaysia". Not so sure Malaysia wanted to get familiar with Barnaby but we'll leave that between them.
Then there was the time Sydney Labor MP Tony Burke spent thousands flying around the world with the woman he'd eventually leave his wife for. But much like Barnaby's witnessing of the nuptials, these expenses were above board, within the rules and entirely legitimate. Not joking here - very important I tell you I am not joking here - for legal reasons.
In all fairness, who else could we get to attend the Food Security for All forum in Barcelona but western Sydney's very own Minister for Agriculture, Tony Burke, and his future missus?
Then in 2014 everything changed when some old lady escaped from her home for demented career troglodytes, managed to flag down a chopper and sent the Federal Finance Department the bill. That was when everyone realised enough was a-nuff. In all fairness to Bronnie she may not have that long left and hey, why spend those precious moments stuck in traffic when you could be sipping a white wine spritzer at a Liberal Party function?
Of course after Bronwyn got done over, all of the little piggies we pay to represent us learned their lesson and stepped away from the trough.
Yup, except for Peter Dutton and his staffers who spent a cheeky $4K eating at one of Washington's swankiest restaurants. A few days after the dinner the restaurant asked its Facebook followers to vote for it as DC's "Best Restaurant When Someone Else Is Paying". It's yet to be revealed if Dutto and his crew took part in the poll.
Oh and that Gold Coast bloke John-Paul Langbroek who claimed travel to stay just a 20-minute drive from his canalside home.
And wasn't there some woman who bought a unit on the Goldy while on official business?
But she's gone now, erm, well she's taken a pay cut. And all of the little piglets have learned their lesson this time. It's all really fair enough, though, right? Politicians are elected to represent us.
And we all like staying in expensive hotels, eating Michelin-starred food and flying business class - everywhere we go. Perhaps that's the point - we elect them because they're like us - except on better pay packets and with ostensibly unlimited credit cards they never get the bill for.
But perhaps deep down we all know that if we were given the chance we'd do the same thing. I mean, I love free sh#t.
Now if you'll excuse me, my boss has left his company credit card on his desk and I deserve a holiday - if they query the expense I'll just pay it back and mumble "Sorry, not sorry." I mean no one gets fired for this sort of thing, do they?