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The Pynes have never seen the fireworks . . . Right this wrong!

In defending a $5000 cost for Christopher Pyne and three of his family members to fly to Sydney from Adelaide over the Christmas/New Year period, a spokesperson explained that Pyne did engage in work activities and he and his family had never seen the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Either this spokesperson has a burning ambition to dump Pyne and the rest of the Coalition government even further in it, or he or she is so steeped in the tradition of political entitlement and privilege that they can see no downside to revealing that we, the hapless taxpayers, many of whom never have and never will see the fireworks in Sydney on New Year’s Eve except on the telly, paid for the Pyne family to enjoy this cultural privilege.

I have never subscribed to the belief that any one human being is of greater significance than any other so naturally, I don’t see why my tax dollars should fund the Pyne kids’ excursion to the fireworks just because they have Christopher for their father. Oh, but wait. They have Christopher for their father. I may need to rethink my position on their disadvantage.

It may be a glitch in my constitution, but I have never found reason to respect any individual simply because she or he holds a particular office. There are actually very few people I do respect, and none of them are politicians or public figures. If I was going to shout anyone a trip to the fireworks, it would be one of them. There is much codswallop bandied about with regard to respecting “the office,” but one cautious glimpse at the increasingly unhinged Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, ought to disabuse anyone of the notion of respecting an office, given the type of lunatic who can apparently hold it. An office, like an institution, is only as good as the human beings inhabiting it, and that can be very very bad indeed.

We do not have “politicians” anymore, in the sense of a class of people willing to give a period of their lives to the service and well-being of the citizenry and the country. We have instead ideologues, intent on pursuing their self-interested goals and taking every possible advantage of us while they do it. It matters little on which side of the House they plonk their narcissistic arses, as is evidenced in the uncharacteristic rush to defend one another’s expenses claims. Of course extravagance is in the rules: politicians wrote the rules and they may not know much about running a country, but they do know how to look after themselves.

Pyne says he will not be repaying the airfares we coughed up for his family to see the fireworks. Why am I not surprised. Call me cynical, but if anything comes from Abbott’s apparent determination to address the “entitlement” rules I suspect it will be an amendment to permit taxpayer-funded travel to party fundraisers. The man who wrings his hands over the denial of coal supplies to poverty-stricken millions on the sub continent who will, he claims, suffer and possibly die because of the Federal Court decision on the Adani Carmichael coal mine, gives not a fig for the Australian taxpayer who, while increasingly unable to make ends meet, has to watch his or her tax dollars pay for the children of comfortable and privileged politicians to fly business class and see the spectacles.

Time to get out the metaphorical tumbrils.

This article was first published on No Place For Sheep.



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  1. babyjewels10


  2. pilgrim

    Well said Jennifer.
    Do you think Pyne may also pay back the cost of renting a luxurious hotel room for the day In London for himself and his wife as well as privileges at the airport to finish their his trip to Rome for canonisations?

  3. Keitha Granville

    Any other worker on the planet gets a job that provides all this for his family ???? Find me one, please, find me one !
    Unless you OWN the business – and then you can whatever the hell you like with the cash – you get paid for YOUR job. The rest is your business, up to you. If you get paid a gazillion dollars with a gold plated expense account I am sure you can afford to fly your family all over the place whenever you want at your OWN EXPENSE.
    I have been bleating about this for years, why has no politician ever seen fit to raise this as aplatofrm ? Because they are all in it for what they can get. However noble their ambtions when they first stand for office, at the back of their minds is the end game.

  4. Diane

    Leaving aside the scary thought that this grub has been allowed to breed, the question we need to ask here is – with a wife and four kids, which two did he leave behind on this taxpayer funded jaunt? And when is he planning on taking those two somewhere expensive and unnecessary to make it up to them? As taxpayers, we perhaps need to start saving…

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Pyne is not going to pay back a cent of anything he’s rorted as he knows he’s going to lose his seat in a landslide, $20 billion pork barrel not withstanding. So the greedy little stuck up toff will screw the Australian people to the very end.

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    Is taking advantage of an entitlement, rorting? Is it anymore so, than an employee who in salary package accepts a car, for their own personal use, when law says in must be used, doing the job? That is just one example.

  7. Deb

    FIFO’s don’t get their family flown out to see them. Unlike some Politicians who feel they haven’t seen their children for a period of time, therefore, fly them (possibly business class) to Canberra to see Mum or Dad at work.
    Seriously, become a politician and lose perspective

  8. Wun Farlung

    I’ve been waiting for Abbott to roll out a terrorist or two as a distraction

  9. Faye Cox

    As one of Joe’s “leaners” I sit back and look at the hubris of this current Government and despair. I manage to live on an income of $25000 odd a year. About 5 helicopter flights.. None of them, regardless of political allegiance have any idea of what it is like .

  10. brickbob

    I would’nt worry too much Chris,you and the kids are going to see plenty of fire works at the next election,and it wont cost you a thing except your job.”””””

  11. bobrafto

    The election funding rate from 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015 is 259.405 cents per eligible vote.

    At the last election and trying to remember from the Charlie Pickering show, the LNP collected $25M, Labor $20M and the Greens $5M and they still want us to pay for their fundraisers.

  12. Carol Taylor

    Abbott said, in relation to agreeing to the closure of 247 remote Aboriginal communities: “”What we can’t do is endlessly subsidise lifestyle choices if those lifestyle choices are not conducive to the kind of full participation in Australian society that everyone should have,”.

    Yes indeed, we cannot endlessly subsidise “lifestyle choices”, especially for those who can well afford to pay for their own “lifestyle choices”.

  13. bobrafto

    August 9, 2015 at 6:04 pm
    Leaving aside the scary thought that this grub has been allowed to breed

    Diane, you know how to cut to the bone. Well done! lol

  14. bobrafto

    OMG wot has Bronnie done!

    I think it was Michelle Grattan who said that Bronnie dropped a cluster bomb. lol

  15. Jazz

    Bobrafto… The Greens don’t use tax dollars to fund their fundraisers… Members (and friends) of the party pay a small amount to attend (nothing like the 1000s for LNP fundraising bashes) and that money is continually reinvested to build support and funding. Oh, and lots of voluntary hours by keen supporters 🙂 also no corporate funding – when you consider how much the two major parties accept from corporate/private interests PLUS our tax dollars it’s sickening. I think all parties should get the same from taxpayers or nothing at all!

  16. Jazz

    And Carol – well said!! This gov is totally out of touch

  17. Patrise Dowling

    I haven’t seen the Sydney fireworks either. As a pensioner I guess I never will. Don’t they have fireworks in Adelaide?

  18. bobrafto


    I was saying that the LNP and Labor are bleating that we should fund their travel to fundraisers after we paid them millions for getting elected.

  19. Keray

    @ Wun Farlung.
    I’ve been thinking the same myself.
    Terrorist event coming.
    May be saving it for election time though

  20. guest

    Strangely, the Coalition has talked long and hard about cutting expenses. Yet it has continued to spend at the highest level. It talks about growth, but everywhere we see falling prices for commodities, mining companies up for sale or sacking workers. What is the Coalition plan for growth? Does it think that increasing GST by 50% will help gain revenue without hurting anybody? Does it think that developing big coal mines producing coal nobody wants and at the same time damaging the environment is a sane way to go? And a dud policy to deal with Climate Change, a slow down on renewable energy development… What are they doing?

  21. kerri

    Keitha Granville
    Nick Xenophon may well be your man?
    bobrafto and Diane
    Have you heard of the Darwin Awards?
    Maybe Pyne and family should fly MA?

  22. Phil

    Agreed indeed. Excellent argument and none but the self-styled political elite would disagree Jennifer.

    “Time to get out the metaphorical tumbrils.” Yes, and I have a warehouse full of pitch-forks for sale!!

  23. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    Great read. My Grown up children never got to see Fireworks in Sydney either. Wait a minute we did not even see fireworks anywhere, as we are Rural and could not afford the drive to Melbourne when they were kids. Certainly could not find anyone with enough money to give us all a free ride. Did not have time either, as my husband and I were busy working to pay our own Bills…

  24. ianmac

    Heh.. Maybe the next firework event/terrorist event will have a guy Fawkes theme… Only kidding, ha ha

  25. eli nes

    I met dr nelson, the captain’s pick for the entitlement rort review, but once in the peripheral where smiling and listening was my spouse role. he was the most obnoxiously arrogant turd I had ever encountered.
    He remained at number one, until the rabbutt came to address a conference obnoxious was ramped up and inane appeared. Even with the evidence of live listening, it baffles me how friends and relatives find the rabbutt an acceptable PM. But obviously their arse , where their head is firmly stuck, is soundproof. Fortunately all is not necessarily lost, as they are croweaters so they know about the pynenut.


    Very frustrating and would love to be able to do something – but they’re all as bad as each other so it doesn’t matter who is in power. No wonder people get sick of hearing about these events because our hands are tied. How do we fix or change this? I’m in if anyone has something we can do!

  27. Lee

    I’ve never seen the Sydney fireworks either. Will the government fly me to Sydney to see them?

  28. ianmac

    Party members are the last identities who should be reviewing the entitlements, ffs, they’d probably increase the lifetime benefits to include all their descendants who choose to vote for the same parties in perpetuity.

  29. gangey1959

    I’m sorry. I just don’t believe that the pyne household does not own at least ONE telly.
    In each house.

  30. Felicitas

    It’s his kids I feel sorry for. They look so sweet now. How long until they are corrupted too?

  31. corvus boreus

    To be fair to Mr Pyne, he was exceedingly forgiving and generous of spirit in his bipartisan defence of Tony Burke taking his family on a jet-set tour of the red centre. Pyney sympathised that Burkos kids hadn’t seen Uluru yet.

    Party business is the business of partying.

  32. Chris Crash

    Nice one Jennifer. To Florence nee Fedup: The answer is yes to both.

  33. Itsazoosue

    Thank you, Jennifer, for this excellent article.

  34. mars08

    comment deleted… by me…

  35. Kaye Lee

    “THE family of Abbott Government minister Peter Dutton flew business class to Cairns during last year’s school holidays to join him on a $7000 three-night getaway.

    Mr Dutton, the federal Immigration Minister, is the latest in a string of MPs revealed to have been enjoying family jaunts on the public purse.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has now been forced to concede the so-called “family reunion” allowance does not meet public expectations as the entire federal political system has become engulfed in the high-flying rorts saga, entering its fourth week.

    Documents from the Department of Finance show taxpayers forked out a total of $1.04 million for MPs’ family members’ travel in the second half of last year and more than $7.5 million over the past five years.

    Mr Abbott flagged a new benchmark for parliamentarians’ travel ­expenses based on whether it would be acceptable in the business world.

    The PM’s own family has racked up a travel bill of more than $74,000 since he became Liberal leader in 2009.

    This includes flights for his wife, Margie, and two of his daughters from Sydney to ­attend the Melbourne Cup and Derby Day on a number of ­occasions.

    Mr Dutton has charged taxpayers almost $140,000 for his family to fly business class — predominantly return from Brisbane to Canberra — during the past five years.

    In July last year, the then health minister joined his wife and three children on a business-class flight from Brisbane to Cairns at a cost of $565 each.

    While in Cairns, he hired a car at a cost of $488 and claimed three nights of travel allowance under his ministerial duties worth $1071.

    Three days later, Mr Dutton and four members of his family flew back to Brisbane — all five tickets cost $565.07 each.

    The three-day trip cost taxpayers $7210.

    A spokesman for Mr Dutton said yesterday he had ­“numerous” commitments in Cairns during his visit.

    Abbott Government MPs Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey have also been ­revealed in the past days to have flown their families business class to Sydney and Perth, respectively, while undertaking “official business”. ”

    Aside from the family holiday/reunion saga and whether they should fly business class etc, I wonder if anyone is ever going to ask whether a trip is worthwhile – some form of cost-benefit analysis – because we are paying a fortune for politicians to have their photos taken with a shovel in their hands.

  36. diannaart

    I did not know that going to see the Fireworks of Sydney was now a thing.

    Guess I’ll always be just a dag, I mean leaner.

    August 9, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Am looking carefully at children’s resemblance to their ‘dad’ – I mean “the poodle” actually managed to breed…. with a woman?

  37. DJ

    If they hadn’t seen the fireworks and wanted to, then they could get in the car, drive over, stay with friends or family, then drive back. It’s not like they’re poor people who don’t drive cars.

  38. Rossleigh

    Gee, I was going to try and crowd fund a trip for Pyne and his family to go to Sydney just so they could see the fireworks till someone pointed out that they could watch it on TV.
    Adelaide has TV now. Who knew?
    But this makes the fact that Pyne was elected even more mysterious because they can actually see him…

  39. mmc1949

    My son and his family have done quite a bit of flying at government, i.e. taxpayers expense …. from one place of abode to another, and even some fireworks for my son. You know, Afghanistan and all that.
    Politicians should have exactly the same travel rights as my son and his family and all ADF personnel – but not a cent or air-mile more.

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