Sunday, 29 September 2013

Taxpayers were handed the bill when Shadow Attorney-General Brandis 'conspired' against the Gillard Government at a private wedding


Apparently Australian Attorney-General George Brandis thought it appropriate when on the Opposition benches to expect taxpayers to foot some of his costs when attending a wedding at Bells Hotel, Killcare NSW, on 4 December 2011 and staying at The Mantra in Ettalong.

The Sydney Morning Herald 29 September 2013:

Senator Brandis claimed $1700, including more than $1000 on return flights, $143 on a hire car and the overnight ''official business'' allowance designed to cover accommodation and incidentals.
He told Fairfax Media on Saturday that he regarded the wedding as a chance to ''foster collaboration'' over Mr Smith's work covering the then prime minister and the Craig Thomson scandal and it was therefore ''primarily a professional rather than a social engagement''.
''These were both matters of significant national interest on which I spoke frequently in Parliament and the media,'' he wrote in a statement.
The federal Department of Finance's guidelines state MPs are allowed to claim travel and accommodation expenses for official business including ''meetings of a government advisory committee or taskforce'' or ''functions representing a minister or presiding officer''. Meeting with journalists is not a purpose sanctioned by the guidelines.....
Mr Joyce claimed a flight to Moree the next day and about $500 worth of charges for the use of a Commonwealth car on the day of the wedding. He said he could not recall whether he had other meetings that day but defended the use of public resources to attend the wedding.....

Interestingly this article reveals George Brandis was in close collaboration with the suspended Sydney radio shock jock in the very public hounding of then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Although at the time he was rather reticent about the general public being aware of this particular ‘friendship’:


Once at the wedding Mr. Brandis apparently gave an impassioned speech in defence of Michael Smith’s pursuit of the Prime Minister and, it would appear that the bridal couple also paid some of his transportation costs as well:


For those interested in the financial details for dates associated with this wedding:

                                
Domestic Travel 4 Dec 11 Brisbane Sydney 5 Dec 11 Sydney Brisbane $1,191.06
Com Car Brisbane 4 Dec 11 $82.83 Brisbane 5 Dec 11 $44.23
Hire Car Sydney 4 Dec to 5 Dec 11 $143.40

UPDATE

Subsequent to this story breaking in the mainstream media it has been reported that; 
Attorney-General George Brandis will repay almost $1700 in expenses he claimed to attend the wedding of a Sydney radio shock jock two years ago.

Although still asserting that his being a guest at the wedding was work-related, it does not appear that Senator Brandis declared the complimentary limosine supplied on 4 December 2011 in his Statement of Registerable Interests - something he might have done if that day was in fact part of his duties as a senator.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

George is a very avid reader, or so it seems. BoilerMaker Bill [http://boilermakerbill.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/the-brandis-canon/] provided a list of some of George's purchases (see below). Is George planning to set up a second-hand bookshop sometime down the track or have his 'purchases' been passed on as Xmas/birthday presents. Here are some of his purchases over 2009-12. George was really busy on June 30th 2011, the end of the financial year. Was George making sure he spent as much of his entitlement as he could?
Freedom and the Arts 9 Jul 12 $44.96
FDR 3 Aug 12 $26.15
Left Turn: Political Essays for the New Left 3 Aug 12 $26.99
The Marmalade Files 3 Aug 12 $24.54
Eisenhower in War and Peace 8 Sep 12 $51.50
Quarterly Essay Issue 47: David Marr on Tony Abbott 8 Sep 12 $16.33
John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life 1917-1963 19 Oct 12 $24.51
Tudors: A History of England Volume 2 19 Oct 12 $26.99
Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain 2 19 Oct 12 $36.82
Tales From The Political Trenches 8 Nov 12 $24.54
F.C.B. Cadell: The Life and Works of a Scottish Colourist 1883-1937 2 Jun 12 $77.73
The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WW11 Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There 23 Jun 12 $20.42
An Incredible Race of People 23 Jun 12 $32.72
An Honourable Englishman: The Life of Hugh Trevor-Roper 23 Jun 12 $50.69
George F. Kennan: An American Life 23 Jun 12 $53.17
Joseph Lyons: The People’s Prime Minister 3 Mar 12 $40.87
After America: Get Ready for Armageddon 3 Mar 12 $32.68 (Alas not the John Birmingham speculative fiction, but the Mark Steyn speculative non-fiction)
Brief Lives 3 Mar 12 $16.33
Commonwealth Law Reports (Volume 244 Parts 1-4) 18 Apr 12 $529.74
The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War 30 Apr 12 $20.42 (Either a great or a forgettable read for Brandis to buy again; he claimed the hardbook edition on his publication allowance in July 2010)
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson 12 May 12 $43.33
William Pitt the Younger 27 May 11 $22.90
In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir 17 Sep 11 $32.73
Quarterly Essay 43, Bad News: Murdoch’s Australian and the Shaping of the Nation 17 Sep 11 $16.32
The Conservatives: A History 2 Dec 11 $69.55
Commonwealth Law Reports Cons Index V219-242 22 Dec 11 $85.00
Dismissal 7 Aug 11 $24.54 (I am assuming this is the Nicholas Hasluck novel)
Letters To My Daughter 7 Aug 11 $32.72
Commonwealth Law Reports Volume 243 Parts 1-4 25 Nov 11 $511.82
History Of Civilizations 30 Jun 11 $21.44
After The Victorians: The World Our Parents Knew 30 Jun 11 $21.44
An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark 30 Jun 11 $39.36
Berlin: The Downfall 1945 30 Jun 11 $20.01
Beyond Good and Evil 30 Jun 11 $13.56
Byzantium: The Apogee 30 Jun 11 $19.29
Byzantium: The Decline and Fall 30 Jun 11 $19.29
Byzantium: The Early Centuries 30 Jun 11 $19.29
Jerusalem: The Biography 30 Jun 11 $35.79
Mediations 30 Jun 11 $10.70
Memoirs: William Rees-Mogg 30 Jun 11 $46.53
MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 30 Jun 11 $42.95
Michael Kirby: Paradoxes and Principles 30 Jun 11 $42.91
On Liberty and the Subjection of Women 30 Jun 11 $12.14
Orwell and Politics 30 Jun 11 $20.73
Our Times: The Age of Elizabeth 30 Jun 11 $20.01
Pitt the Elder: Man of War 30 Jun 11 $25.05
Rome: A Cultural History 30 Jun 11 $35.79
Stalin: A Biography 30 Jun 11 $21.46
Stalingrad 30 Jun 11 $20.01
The Battle For Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 30 Jun 11 $25.05
The Churchills 30 Jun 11 $25.05
The Lost Peace: Leadership In A Time Of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953 30 Jun 11 $39.37
The New Penguin Dictionary of Quotations 30 Jun 11 $53.69
The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850-2009 30 Jun 11 $21.44
The Popes: A History 30 Jun 11 $42.91
The War of the World: History’s Age of Hatred 30 Jun 11 $19.29
The ‘Whig’ View of Australian History and Other Essays 30 Jun 11 $39.34
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One 30 Jun 11 $10.70
Trotsky: A Biography 30 Jun 11 $21.46
Twilight of Idols and Anti-Christ 30 Jun 11

Anonymous said...

Boilermaker Bill's list continues,

Why did George list so many purchases as "Book"? Were they porn items?

Twilight of Idols and Anti-Christ 30 Jun 11
2010 Take Back America: A Battle Plan 1 Feb 11 $40.09
Best Australian Political Cartoons 2010 1 Feb 11 $24.51
Obama’s Wars 1 Feb 11 $32.72
Brewer’s Famous Quotations 8 Mar 11 $45.00
The German Genius 8 Mar 11 $40.90
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage 27 Mar 11 $39.24
Roget’s International Thesaurus, 7th Edition 27 Mar 11 $40.90
The Art of Great Speeches 27 Mar 11 $32.68
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages 27 Mar 11 $28.60
Three Cornered Life: The Historian WK Hancock 5 Aug 10 $49.05
Edward Heath: The Authorized Biography 5 Aug 10 $53.18
Traitor to His Class 7 Sep 10 $32.69
Lazarus Rising 5 Nov 10 $49.08
One Minute to Midnight 5 Nov 10 $22.87
Party Thieves 5 Nov 10 $28.63
Scribble, Scribble, Scribble 5 Nov 10 $45.00
Commonwealth Law Reports Volume 241 Part 1 25 Nov 10 $498.18
Commonwealth Law Reports Consolidated Index Volumes 219-240 25 Nov 10 $253.00
The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War 30 Jul 10 $53.18
Commonwealth Law Reports Volume 240 Part 1 26 May 10 $415.45
Hitch-22: A Memoir 18 Jun 10 $28.64
Inside Obama’s Brain 18 Jun 10 $28.64
Shitstorm: Inside Labor’s Darkest Days 27 Jun 10 $28.63
Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime 3 Mar 10 $49.05
Harold Macmillan 20 Jan 10 $57.26
Penguin History of Modern Russia 20 Jan 10 $24.51
So Greek 12 Feb 10 $28.64
Liberals and Power: The Road Ahead 6 May 10 $30.26
The Audacity to Win 11 May 10 $32.68
Commonwealth Law Reports Volume 239 Parts 1-4 21 Dec 09 $491.82
Commonwealth Law Reports Consolidated Index Volumes 219-237 22 Dec 09 $225.00
Book 21 Jul 09 $122.95
Books 31 Jul 09 $53.14
Books 14 Aug 09 $491.82
Australians V1 Origins to Eureka 21 Sep 09 $49.08
Storm of War 21 Sep 09 $49.05
Enlightening Letters 1946-1960 21 Sep 09 $77.73
Book of Isaiah 21 Sep 09 $61.33
Gray’s Anatomy: Selected Writings 1 Nov 09 $36.82
Book 18 May 09 $31.82
Book 21 May 09 $122.95
Book 5 Jun 09 $29.22
Book 8 Jun 09 $13.87

The total cost of these items to the taxpayer was $6768.58.

John Fraser said...

@Anonymous

Thanks for that.

Very informative.