Helicopter Bronwyn

Bronwyn Bishop charges $5000 for chopper to fundraiser

Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop chartered a helicopter to travel from Melbourne to Geelong and back to attend a state Liberal Party fundraiser. The journey typically takes an hour each way by road. The cost of the flights was $5,227.27.

She refused to say sorry to the Australian taxpayer saying her refund was apology enough. She admitted that the only reason she travelled to Victoria on November 5 last year was for the party event at a golf club, and said she would notresign her position as speaker.

She did, however, admit that she made an “error of judgment” when she chartered the helicopter to make the short journey from Melbourne to Geelong for a Liberal Party fundraiser last year. Her boss, Tony Abbott stood by her said he would not ask her to step down. “No. She’s repaid the money and she does a good job”.

Finally, on Aug 2nd she resigned resigned as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

She faced sustained criticism for more than three weeks, since the helicopter ride. Tony Abbott told reporters ithat the Government would hold a “root and branch review” of the entitlements system in the wake of the scandal. (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-02/bronwyn-bishop-stands-down-as-speaker/6666172)

Not the first time her expenses have been looked at. She spent more than $300,000 of taxpayers’ dollars on overseas travel in her first year as federal Speaker, culminating in a $90,000 European trip!!! An analysis by Fairfax Media showed that Mrs Bishop spent more on overseas travel in a 12-month period than any of her most recent predecessors (https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bronwyn-bishop-spending-more-on-overseas-travel-than-former-speakers-20150715-gid424.html).

In 2014 she went to Italy, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland on a two-week trip which culminated in a week-long meeting in Geneva of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, of which she was campaigning to become president. She lost the vote but not before racking up $88,084 in expenses.

Fairfax Media said that Mrs Bishop charged taxpayers almost $1000 a day to travel in luxurious private limousines during her $90,000 fortnight in Europe (https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bronwyn-bishop-slugs-taxpayers-1000-a-day-for-private-limo-costs-20150718-gifasi.html).

The system is under review: https://theconversation.com/choppergate-no-more-what-the-review-of-politicians-entitlements-will-mean-56196

https://theconversation.com/choppergate-no-more-what-the-review-of-politicians-entitlements-will-mean-56196

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