The latest MP travel expenses scandal involving WA Liberal MP Steve Irons is proof that MPs can still easily exploit the public purse for personal gain as the Coalition and Labor parties have failed to tighten up the rules, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“Claiming money to go to one’s own wedding is a new low for the Australian parliament. No one could dredge up an excuse to try and wriggle out of this one,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“The Greens support MPs being obliged to demonstrate that their travel is necessary for their work and greater transparency on how their allowances are spent.
“The Irons wedding scandal will increase public cynicism about all MPs and the political process.
“The previous Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann said the government supported ‘in principle’ the 36 recommendations of the report commissioned after the Bishop helicopter scandal.
“The best the government and opposition spokes on the issue could come up with is that it was right that Irons repaid the money.
“The failure of the major parties to clean up travel expenses leaves the door open to another scandal.
“The Greens have long advocated for MPs to be required to publicly disclose their expenses on a searchable public website in close to real time. The Scottish parliament has such a system and it is time the Australian parliament caught up,” Senator Rhiannon said.