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Government shelves bill to wind back MPs’ Gold Pass travel

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 9 Nov 2015

The Turnbull government has shelved a Bill with bipartisan support to end the Gold Pass travel entitlement scheme, Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 

“Last week the bill to amend the Gold Pass travel entitlements scheme was quietly dropped from this year’s work list in the Senate,” Senator Rhiannon said. 

“This Bill has the support of the Greens, Labor and probably most of the crossbench and there is no good reason to delay it. 

“The Belcher Review into MPs’ allowances, which gave rise to this Bill, made 39 recommendations. The only recommendations that made it into the Bill were those that covered MPs’ travel and now even that has stalled. 

“The Bill was a minimal response to the enormous issue of parliamentary allowances and it should have been passed by now. 

“Dropping the Bill from the work list for the Senate raises doubts about how serious the Turnbull government is about cleaning up MPs’ allowances. 

“Removing the Gold Pass would save the public around $1 million per year. 

“Minister Brough, who is in charge of removing the Gold Pass scheme, racked up nearly $90, 000 in taxpayer funded flights using his Gold Pass when he was not an MP.

“The Gold Pass scheme is as out of touch and inappropriate as Knights and Dames was. Even the name is elitist and an embarrassment. 

“Scrapping the Gold Pass scheme is the very least we should be doing to end the elitist culture of political entitlements. 

“Are some MPs seriously suggesting that we keep giving politicians dozens of free airfares while cutting down essential safety nets like the disability support pension?” Senator Rhiannon said. 

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