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Why Tony isn’t pointing fingers

With all the furore about Bronwyn Bishop’s ever growing list of expense abuses, little attention has been paid to those of Tony Abbott who, in the six months from July to December last year, claimed over $1 million dollars in “entitlements” including $814,115.78 for overseas travel.

For example:

Abbott travelled to India and Malaysia from 3 Sep to 7 Sep 14. He charged $235.80 for three comcar trips in Canberra on the 3rd so would not have arrived until late that evening at best. He also charged $791.43 for five trips on the 7th, four in Sydney and one in Canberra so presumably must have left on the night of the 6th, arriving back some time on the 7th.

This means that he only had three days away to visit the two countries for which he charged us $50,177.24 for accommodation and meals, $12,407.63 for ground transport, $14,952.77 for “official hospitality non-portfolio related” and $13,559.76 for “related travel expenses”. In total, these few days cost us $104,715.05.

He also travelled to the USA on 23 Sep to 28 Sep 14. With comcar trips on both those days, he was away for five nights at most for which he charged us $76,934.84 for accommodation and meals, $31,820.82 for ground transport, and $8,993.70 for “related travel expenses” – $132,221.61 in total.

Another trip paid in this claim was to Indonesia, France, Canada and the USA from 4 Jun to 16 Jun 14

Accommodation and meals $98,049.90

Fares $33,407.30

Ground transport $101,188.59

Official hospitality non portfolio related $11,027.76

Related travel expenses $78,801.32

Total $322,474.87

When all your transport, accommodation, meals and sundries like equipment allowance, medical costs and travel advances are paid for, what the hell is left for “related travel expenses”? And why are we paying for non-portfolio related hospitality?

This six month period also cost us $84,427.66 for car costs. The following excerpt of just two days is typical – 16 trips costing us $3,673,11. If you are doing 16 trips in two days in 4 different states you aren’t spending too much time in any one spot – Canberra to Sydney to Melbourne to Sydney to Brisbane to Canberra.

8 Oct 14 – Canberra $47.16

8 Oct 14 – Sydney $438.85

8 Oct 14 – Sydney $463.85

(The Sydney trip was to appear on the Alan Jones show though I fail to see how the airport to Pyrmont could cost over $400)

8 Oct 14 – Melbourne $60.85

8 Oct 14 – Melbourne $72.75

8 Oct 14 – Melbourne $265.82

8 Oct 14 – Melbourne $295.85

9 Oct 14 – Melbourne $172.80

9 Oct 14 – Melbourne $143.55

9 Oct 14 – Sydney $262.00

9 Oct 14 – Sydney $221.50

9 Oct 14 – Brisbane $193.64

9 Oct 14 – Brisbane $70.00

9 Oct 14 – Brisbane $451.71

9 Oct 14 – Brisbane $472.78

9 Oct 14 – Canberra $40.00

There were also many charges of $40 for when comcars were cancelled.

These photo shoots are costing us a fortune but you can see how important they are to Tony because he gets to charge $560 travelling allowance for every night he spends in Australia other than in Canberra or Sydney – 34 nights in this claim.

Every electorate has a local member. Is it really necessary for Tony Abbott to fly to all these places and use comcars to appear in front of a group of head nodders or to don a high-vis vest and hard hat? Couldn’t the local member press the flesh? Couldn’t some things be achieved through teleconferencing?

No wonder Tony isn’t pointing fingers at anybody else.

Polticians’ expense entitlements are costing us half a billion dollars a year on top of their salaries. We are paying for them to campaign for their own jobs. We are paying for them to attend fundraisers and sporting events and the opera. We are paying for limos and private jets.

For too long this has gone on unchallenged. If the age of entitlement is over, let’s start with those who are calling for the rest of us to tighten our belts.

Update: “It’s been reported that before Bronwyn Bishop and “choppergate” hit the media, Tony Abbott was on a VIP RAAF jet from Brisbane to Darwin for a CLP fundraiser at Crocodylus Park.

The NT News reported that “Mr Abbott participated in personal training with Defence Force troops the day after the fundraiser and observed Talisman Sabre exercises which were held near Darwin”.

While he was here, he got snapped by the N.T News with Member for Solomon Natasha Griggs as they exited a blackhawk helicopter and walked across the tarmac, wearing Top Gun type gear.”

Interestingly, the article from the N.T. News as well as a similar article from perthnow have both been removed. (Google ‘tony abbott helicopter ride natasha griggs’ and you will see the original links).

 

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82 comments

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  1. roaminruin

    What’s with the helmet? Take it off, Tones. You look like a pathetic wanna-be tough guy … George W Shrub.

    If anyone ever pointed a gun at Macho Tones he’d shit himself. That at least would justify his ludicrous bow-legged ape-like amble.

    (Off-topic I now. It’s just that I loathe his whole persona more than I do his greedy sense of entitlement.)

  2. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    It would be interesting to see the tally of his expenses while Leader of the Opposition because I am fairly certain that they would define a really clear sense of entitlement,.
    He has set the standard for BB so no wonder he does not lean on her too hard!

  3. Florence nee Fedup

    How much do we contribute to the huge caravan of business people that Abbott, acting as chief salesman, takes with him on every overseas trip. They number in the hundreds. Who paid for the 50 barbecues, the Champaign that seemed to be ingested by the gallon. Who paid for the luxurious dinner provide by the GG for businessmen at Yarrumbula at the same time?

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Most of Abbott’s expenses since January could be attributed to his daily stunt/photo op/electoral campaigning in different states each day. Bills should go to Liberal Party.

  5. townsvilleblog

    It will be hard for the pot to call the kettle black, though one position is the PM and he is supposed vto travel on behalf of Australia, the other a mere figurehead who is not necessarily supposed to travel on our behalf, I’ll bet London to a brick that Abbott doesn’t have the ticker to sack her, if he had he would have done it already.

  6. Paul

    Those travel expenses are astronomical! Surely they must include his entourage, security personnel etc?

  7. Graeme Henchel

    Why is Abbott a Dead man Walking?

    Was it justice, was it Karma?
    Was it Murdoch, was it Palmer?
    Was it lying and conceit?
    Was it backbenchers fear of defeat?
    Was it Mathias and Joe’s cigars?
    Was it because we’ve stopped making cars?
    Was it climate change denial?
    Was it putting Julia on trial?
    Was it the daughter’s scholarship prize?
    Was it debt and deficit lies?
    Was it removing the Carbon Tax?
    Was it trying to give the RET the axe?
    Was it cutting Foreign aid?
    Was it being so retrograde?
    Was it the Minister for Women joke?
    Was it all the promises broke?
    Was it Brandis’s bigots rights?
    Was it prancing around in lycra tights?
    Was it cutting the SBS and the ABC?
    Was it costing more for university?
    Was it imposing a GP tax?
    Was it the disregard of facts?
    Was it the ridiculous Dames and Knights?
    Was it the threats and talk of fights?
    Was it Joe’s “lifters and leaners”?
    Was it cutting the pay of parliament’s cleaners?
    Was it punishing pensioners and the unemployed?
    Was it the total moral void?
    Was it the embarrassing G20 address?
    Was it the ongoing budget mess?
    Was it the book-launch travel rort?
    Was it knighting the Queen’s consort?
    Was it use of the sham inquiry stunt?
    Was it the weasel words of Hunt?
    Was it the 800 Million given to News?
    Was it longer unemployment queues?
    Was it a budget most unfair?
    Was it too much body hair?
    Was it nobbling the NBN?
    Was it lying again and again?
    Was it exploiting terrorist threats?
    Was it job applications of Eric Abetz?
    Was it the sex worker wink?
    Was it being too slow to think?
    Was it Joe’s “poor people don’t drive”
    Was it the polls taking a dive?
    Was it the surprises and constant excuses?
    Was it asylum seeker abuses?
    Was it the work of Peta and the IPA?
    Was it repeating slogans day after day?
    Was it the dog whistle of “Team Australia”?
    Was it the pungent smell of failure?
    Was it wimping Putin’s shirt front?
    Was it because Christopher Pyne is a pain?
    Was it Arthur’s memory at ICAC?
    Was it giving Mr Burns the sack?
    Was it ever declining polls?
    Was it funding Internet trolls?
    Was it Newman’s election loss?
    Was it the submarine double cross?
    Was it saying the “Adults are in charge”?
    Was it making the deficit more large?
    Was it the whole damn useless crew?
    Was it the ties of bogus blue?
    Was it the hubris and the swagger?
    Was it Malcolm and Julie’s dagger?
    Was it saying he would change?
    Was it becoming even more deranged?
    Was it eating an onion raw?
    Was it the data-retention law?
    Was it exploiting Dr Karl?
    Was it frequent smirking snarls?
    Was it the daughter’s low rent at Kirribilli?
    Was it “Fixer” Pyne being silly?
    Was it acting like a bar room yob?
    Was it offering Bjorn Lomborg a job?
    Was it saying “I suppose we must grieve”
    Was it the constant attempts to deceive?
    Was it ditching his gold plated PPL mess?
    Was it then making Labor’s PPL less?
    Was it saying the deficit is no longer trouble?
    Was it increasing your own deficit double?
    Was it a second budget based on deception?
    Was it threatening to call an early election?
    Was it trying to get Gillian Triggs out?
    Was it Dutton acting like a Brussel sprout?
    Was it “get a good job that pays good money”
    Was it laughing at things that just weren’t funny?
    Was it all the talk of double dipping?
    Was it cabinet leaks a constant dripping?
    Was it denying marriage equality?
    Was it Brandis reading poetry ?
    Was it paying people smugglers to turn around?
    Was it the dead cat bounce the polls have found?
    Was it saying how much he hated wind farms?
    Was it lying each day without any qualms?
    Was it Brandis controlling the Arts?
    Was it the emission of smelly brain farts?
    Was it the false outrage at QandA?
    Was it telling ministers to stay away?
    Was it Bishop’s ride in a chopper?
    Was it cos Abbott did nothing to stop her?
    Was it Shorten’s conference revival?
    Was it party room fears for their own survival?
    Why will Abbott get the shove?
    The answer is, all of the above.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott, as usual, always playing roles. Play acting that is, including the one of PM.

  9. John Kelly

    Great article, Kaye.

  10. Chris Crash

    Snort, snort….nice tough. How’s your Bronnie?

  11. M-R

    I can tell you for a fact that a cab from the airport to Pyrmont, if taken in peak hour, will cost AT MOST $65 – involving all those toll routes, of course. $65 tops is what I’ve paid, more than once (and only when in a huge hurry to get home).

  12. Möbius Ecko

    What makes Abbott’s overseas travel expenses galling to me is not the travel but the fact that when in opposition he railed against Rudd’s overseas travel expenses and matched that in his first six months. Another example of his gross hypocrisy and another example the MSM does not question or highlight.

  13. Pingback: Why Tony isn’t pointing fingers – » The Australian Independent Media Network | lmrh5

  14. Kaye Lee

    M-R,

    I can get a shuttle from Gosford station to the airport for $45.

  15. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    What galls me about Abbott’s overseas travel is that it is pointless. He went to America and wouldn’t meet with world leaders about climate change. He went and had dinner with Rupert instead and then addressed a meeting about terrorism (like he’s some expert). When he spoke at the World Economic Forum at Davos everyone left the room. He insists on bagging the previous government and talking about domestic issues whenever he is with world leaders. It’s embarrassing.

  16. Anomander

    Bravo Graeme. Let’s make sure that list is distributed widely before the next election.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Graeme,

    Every couplet rhymes except this one….did you mean grub 😉

    Was it wimping Putin’s shirt front?
    Was it because Christopher Pyne is a pain?

  18. Aesop

    Kaye lee.

    Think of something that rhymes with front and that is a female genitalia

    Great poem

  19. David

    Enjoyed the poem thanks

  20. Susan

    Great article thank you.

  21. musicinhills

    Big Blush Kaye lee, laughing, was it all the Australian people who like him

  22. Florence nee Fedup

    Keep in mind, he was crisscrossing Australia each day for stunts/photo ops for nearly four years. Sometimes three states in one day, seven days a week. He has resumed doing so since January this year up too last week, when he went into hiding.

  23. Florence nee Fedup

    Graham, how do we get your prose onto twitter?

  24. John

    The information on expense claims at the Parliamentarians’ Entitlements Reporting page http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/ “are compiled by Finance and are published on the Finance website every six months”.

    Given that this information is transmitted, recorded and displayed electronically, why is it not more frequent?

    As it is a public interest matter it should be updated automatically when the information is registered. BAS statements for the rest of us have to be presented every three months, so that should be the MINIMUM frequency.

  25. Keitha Granville

    One that I saw the other day that REALLY got me was a refurbishment of an electorate office for a backbencher – close to a million dollars !!!! The backbencher in question knew nothing of it, apparently this is all taken care of by the Finance Department, presumably they give the jobs to their mates at exhorbitant rates.
    THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED. ALL OF IT.

    Give every single MP a pay rise of $200,000. And then they pay for everything they need out of that – travel, accomodation, meals, EVERYTHING. Only the PM should get travel to important overseas gigs paid. That will be an IMMMEDIATE saving of more than $300,000 per MP on current rates. With 226 of them, that’s a saving of $67.8 million dollars.
    Why do they have to have their offices redecorated ? If anything is worn out, replace it, otherwise, work with what you get. If offices have to be kitted out in a new area, use a local tradesman.
    No freebies for family – NONE.
    Buy an apartment building in Canberra and that’s the accomodation for when they are in town, if they choose to live elsewhere they can pay for it.
    ONLY one return trip to Canberra for sitting sessions is to be paid for, economy, on a regular scheduled flight.

    WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD THESE PARASITES.

  26. lawrencewinder

    Neat audit… and Graeme Henchel wonderful list, may I use on my blog?

    We need a Federal ICAC, an independent non-party speaker, and sack Timmy The-Twat-Freedom-Man Wilson and appoint an audit commissioner for entitlements.

  27. Selena

    ‘In March he used a RAAF VIP jet to fly from Sydney to Melbourne for the birthday party of mining millionaire and mega donor Paul Marks.’

    This was stated in an article from news.com.au about Travel expenses for Tony Abbott!! So why havent the media reported this to the public?? ……..a RAAF VIP JET TO A PRIVATE BIRTHDAY PARTY !!!!!!!!

  28. diannaart

    I have a dream.

    A dream in which Tones and Bronny

    take a long walk

    off a short pier

  29. win jeavons

    If our government pollies can get their travel, meals, accommodation for free( i.e. taxpayer paid ) why do we need to pay them a salary at all? Or if all these are fringe benefits are they taxable? Either way we are not getting value for money as the job they are doing is quite unsatisfactory.

  30. francescaagosti

    Love your work, Kaye Lee. As always.

  31. Richard

    It gets worse and worse… It really makes the stomach lurch and froth to see this clown pretending to be a man of action, when we all know what a vacuous, ineffectual naysayer he really is.

  32. corvus boreus

    Tony has particularly putrid form in the field of ‘entitlement’ rorting.
    For me the most cynical grab he ever made on our money was the attempt to claim the promos to try and sell some copies of his book, and the most obscene and offensive is obviously his billing of us for the pleasure of him peddling around the countryside cling-wrapped in lycra plastered with company logos. I resent having to pay for that sight.

  33. Kaye Lee

    A small reminder …..

    SOME OF TONY ABBOTT’S EXPENSES:

    Derby Day with family travel November 2012 – $2271.61

    AFL Grand Final with family travel September 2012 – $2150.89

    Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge, Coffs Harbour August 2012 – $1002.24

    Hervey Bay surf life saving pier to pub swim April 2012 – $2372.81

    Charter jet to Tamworth Country Music Festival January 2012 – $8800

    Australian Open Men’s tennis final Melbourne January 2012 – $1639.82

    Tour Down Under Adelaide January 2012 – $2174.82

    Pier to Pub swim Lorne January 2012 – $1444.24

    Port Macquarie Ironman November 2011 – $1290.10

    AFL Grand Final with family travel September 2011 – $5663.58 (flight Bris-Syd included in the fare for Melbourne return)

    Melbourne Cup November 2010 – $2154.40

  34. corvus boreus

    Christ on a crutch, Kaye Lee, now I have thought of paying for Tony in red mankini. Not a very nice start to the day. ;( 😉

  35. Harquebus

    Anyone in here knowledgeable about politicians superannuation entitlements please comment.
    Thanks in advance.
    It is my understanding that they do not have to wait until the normal retirement age.
    Cheers.

  36. Kaye Lee

    It depends on many things – when you were elected, how long you have served and in what capacity. Short answer is 55 for most (the rules changed in 2004).

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/superannuation/you-may-have-to-work-until-70-but-heres-what-the-politicians-could-pocket/story-e6frfmdi-1226885213040

    The employer contribution to superannuation for MPs and Senators on the new parliamentary scheme is 15.4% while they have frozen ours at 9.5%

    http://www.peterandren.com/issues_info.php?mode=dtl&iid=36

  37. Diane

    Graeme – you are a genius

  38. Twodoor Monarch

    Tones comes from a long line of rorters. Grandpa got the family out of London early in WW2 so his lads didnt have to see active service in the British Army. Tones dad did join the dental core of the Australian Army, and went on to get a tax payer funded qualification as a dentist. Then back to Blighty when all safe to do so, but probably not happy with the free national health service in the UK, married an Australian and somehow got an assisted package back to Oz!! Tones has barely worked in private enterprise (2 years as manager of a cement plant before he was dumped) and has spent most of his life as a polly, snout in trough. Daughter Frances has carried on the tradition receiving a scholarship open to no-one else from a mate of Tones who stands to benefit from LCP educational “reforms”. Love ya work Big Ears!

  39. Diane

    BTW…. by taking Peta Credlin on his recent family skiing trip (I presume it was a ‘family trip’ as he also took one of his daughters along) did that make the cost of his holiday claimable as well? And did the recent political protest at Pyne’s book launch mean he can claim the expenses of that too as being ‘political’ rather than personal?

  40. Harquebus

    Thank you Kaye Lee.
    Appreciated.

    $380,000pa is about the same as 30 unemployed singles.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Some Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade staff are annoyed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s daughter Louise is working at Australia’s embassy in Geneva, which is headed by former Coalition staffer Peter Woolcott.

    But a spokesman for DFAT said the job helping represent Australia to the United Nations was awarded on the basis of merit.

    Jealousy over plum jobs in overseas locations was a staple of workplace life at DFAT, but departmental insiders said there were concerns over Ms Abbott being hired in Geneva, given the political connections of the mission’s boss.

    There was internal disquiet at DFAT in Canberra about what some staff saw as a lack of transparency in the hiring and how Ms Abbott came to be doing high-level work, such as delivering a public statement on disarmament, when there were up to 14 policy specialist attached to the mission.

    A spokeswoman from the Prime Minister’s Office said: “The recruitment process was merit based and followed departmental procedures.”

    On Friday morning, the Prime Minister was on the defensive over reports daughter Frances received a $60,000 scholarship from the Whitehouse Institute of Design and that she was recommended by Les Taylor, a Liberal Party donor and chairman of the institute’s board of governors.

    Mr Abbott said Frances had been awarded the scholarship on merit and that family should be kept out of the frontline of politics.

    He said he had not been lobbied by a friend to allow private colleges access to government subsidies. The budget introduced direct financial grants for students taking courses in private colleges.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/dfat-anger-over-louise-abbotts-foreign-affairs-job-20140523-zrloo.html#ixzz3hhZpgUuh

  42. Kaye Lee

    The Opposition Leader’s youngest daughter made her fashion debut yesterday as one of the ambassadors for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

    ”[Bridget] is being managed by Tony Abbott’s media agents,” the BMW Sydney Carnival’s PR agency, Torstar Communications, said in an email

    The Australian Turf Club contacted Mr Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, about hiring the teenager to help promote its autumn carnival. Ms Credlin used to be the head of public relations for Racing Victoria.

    Mr Abbott’s office said it had not initiated the discussions but had ”embraced” the opportunity when it was presented.

    In answer to a question about whether her surname had helped to secure the role, Ms Abbott responded via an email from her father’s office yesterday, saying: ”Of course. I guess the ATC selects people who will get people talking, and being the daughter of a prominent politician is certainly a bit different.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abbott-oversees-daughters-pr-20120331-1w52l.html#ixzz3hhb8LC4b

    Tony then went on give BMW the contract for his fleet of bomb proof cars despite the AG’s department recommending Holden Caprices.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/claims-holdens-lost-government-vehicle-contract-was-part-of-a-vendetta-20131212-2zabq.html

  43. David

    Kaye Lee re that list of Abbott expenses. Can you clarify if they are expenses he has claimed as work related therefore he has claimed as legit expenses, or has claimed for but paid back. Not even the Feds could turn a blind eye to outright rorting, if he says they are legit claims…could they?

  44. jimhaz

    Looks like they are all too busy on the travel and high life gravy train to find time to thoroughly plan their policies.

    I wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing, seeing as these people do not have the EQ to know what is good policy and what is not.

  45. Kaye Lee

    David,

    He hasn’t paid back any that I have listed to my knowledge. He said it was community engagement.

  46. David

    Thanks Kaye, will post list to Twitter. There is ground swell move there urging AFP, to do something about Abbott’s apparent rorting. Be a brave Commissioner to do so, but the pressure wont do any harm

  47. Möbius Ecko

    The only one I know Abbott paid back was his book promotion tour at tax payers expense. I think he used much the same excuse of blaming the system then as well.

    Currently the right on social media are heavily attacking Shorten over his very late revelation of a $40,000 donation. Point out Abbott’s many failures to do the same and his blatant rorts and they go ballistic.

  48. Kaye Lee

    He paid back a couple of weddings too

  49. Zathras

    The story I read about Tony’s “payback” of his book promation tour back then was the the Government was actually reimbursed by his Publisher.

    The Publisher meanwhile has complained that she was never repaid for this by Abbott . If that’s the case, not only did he make a false claim but he kept the money anyway!

    I would really like to see confimation of that one.

  50. Neil of Sydney

    Tony then went on give BMW the contract for his fleet of bomb proof cars despite the AG’s department recommending Holden Caprices.

    Really? I doubt the PM of Australia has much of a say in what bomb proof cars are purchased. It would be a security issue decided on by the appropriate people.

  51. Pouteria

    And when he flies its a private jet flown by a military pilot

  52. Möbius Ecko

    He paid back a couple of weddings too.

    That’s why Bishop should be charged with fraud as she was the only one of the Liberal brigade of rorting wedding guest pollies who never paid back the expenses they falsely claimed, mistakenly or not.

    Mind you Abbott paid back wedding guest expenses claims going back to Slipper’s wedding in 2006 and several other weddings since then, that’s how long he’s been rorting on just wedding attendances. That Abbott, Joyce and others paid back the claims admitting it was wrong to make them, yet Bishop was the only one who didn’t pay them back is surely clear evidence of her blatantly defrauding the public purse.

  53. Kaye Lee

    Ruddock didn’t pay back the claim for Slipper’s wedding either.

  54. Kaye Lee

    Neil,

    “Really? I doubt the PM of Australia has much of a say in what bomb proof cars are purchased. It would be a security issue decided on by the appropriate people.”

    A confidential ministerial brief from the Attorney-General’s Department to then Attorney-General Nicola Roxon:

    Dated 12-12-12, and headed ”Protected Vehicle Acquisition – an update on progress”, its summary advised Ms Roxon that after a lengthy evaluation process through 2012, a bid by BAE Systems in conjunction with Holden was successful – outpointing several European options.

    It said the successful bidder had been chosen from a shortlist of four, which also included two German automotive manufacturers – Audi and Mercedes-Benz – and another Holden joint bid by a company called Integrated Design and Engineering Solutions. BMW, however, was not mentioned and it is understood from the documentation that the Bavaria-based auto giant had not even been shortlisted.

    It remains unclear why the Holden-BAE recommendation was not acted on, but a government insider from the time said the then-prime minister Julia Gillard had been concerned about negative publicity if Labor was seen to be spending $7 million of taxpayers’ money on limousines in the lead-up to the election. The internal departmental documents from December 2012 raise questions as to how BMW came to be considered given it was not shortlisted and was not the successful bidder.

    ”These extraordinary events give every indication the government pursued a vendetta against Holden,” shadow industry minister Kim Carr said. ”What we have here is a proper tender process being run and won, legitimately, by a BAE-GM Holden consortia. Yet suddenly, in the midst of a concerted backgrounding campaign against Holden by senior government ministers, BMW emerges with a contract.”

  55. Neil of Sydney

    Kaye

    Mark Kenny is a Labor supporter. I would not trust anything he says. Journalists have agendas. I really find it hard to believe that the PM of Australia has anything to do with ordering bomb proof cars but i could be wrong.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/bombproof-bmws-will-replace-the-prime-ministers-holden-fleet-of-limousines/story-fncynjr2-1226780185117

    THE Prime Minister’s flagship fleet of high-security Holden limos is expected to be replaced with bomb and gas proof BMWs after Government sources claimed Holden had failed to bid for a lucrative $4 million plus contract to replace the ageing convoy of armoured cars……….The only options of a semi-local built car was believed to be a newer version of the retrofitted Holden Caprice offered by British Aerospace at a cost of $800,000 each, or a “ground up” model based on a Holden chassis, which cost $1.2 million for just one vehicle.

    However, neither option is believed to have been able to meet international standards for protection against attacks.

    You have to use some intuition. I would tend to believe that Holden could not meet internationals standards rather than the PM of Australia barking down the phone that he does not want Holden. It was a security issue.

  56. Roswell

    Haven’t changed, have you Neil? Forever the pain in the arse.

  57. Kyran

    It’s funny how a subject can trigger memories from decades past. Having worked in the insurance industry decades back, I recall denying fraudulent claims, which would sometimes invoke a litigious response. As it was ‘civil law’ (yeah, I know, an oxymoron. There is nothing civil about law), the burden of proof was lesser.

    “Balance of Probabilities Definition: Burden of proof in civil trials. The common distinction is made with the burden of truth in a criminal trial, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil trial, one party’s case need only be more probable than the other.”

    It was SOP to refer a copy of the file to the Police with a request for a criminal charge of “Obtaining financial advantage by deception” (Sect 82, Crimes Act, 1958). A higher burden of proof, but not conflicting with the premise that the claim was fraudulent. Most often, people went to jail.

    A matter I’d long forgotten related to rabid’s book tour. He was, at the time, Opposition spokesman on Indigenous Affairs. Over on NM, there’s an article.

    Bronwyn Bishop Resigns Amid A Great Prime Ministerial Silence


    “Strangely, Abbott was nowhere to be found. The story raged in the media for weeks without him. Here’s the ABC explaining why: “The Opposition’s spokesman on Indigenous affairs, Tony Abbott, is staying silent about problems with the Government’s $672 million Aboriginal housing program because he has agreed to a special embargo until his new book is released next Tuesday.

    Surely, when the conflict of interest between your day job and your pursuit of self enrichment or aggrandisement, there is enough to prosecute under Sect 82. Thank you Ms Lee. Mr Henchel, accolades. Take care

  58. Möbius Ecko

    And the revelation that the now front runner for the Speaker’s chair Ruddock claimed $9000 for expenses for a trip to Perth last year.

  59. gonemango

    Great article Kaye Lee! Thank you! And I have to say that all of the comments here are just as worth reading! Graeme, we’ve got to spread that poem! Genius!

  60. jimhaz

    [ Mark Kenny is a Labor supporter ]

    Lol. It sure didn’t seem like that during the ALP’s last terms. Kenny has always annoyed me with the way he is so negative to the ALP. If he writes an article having a justified go at the LNP, and there have been so many justifiations, he will always throw in some only loosely connected ALP misdoing.

    Someone else thinks the same –
    Old media caught with pants down, again!

  61. Kaye Lee

    Neil, this isn’t about Mark Kenny. Abbott was the one who said Holden hadn’t submitted a bid and he was wrong. I personally saw the Holden exec interviewed. Abbott is either a lying mongrel or a fool – my money is on both.

  62. jimhaz

    What a fine example of bigoted hypocrisy she is!

    From the Guardian 21/7

    “After being dumped from John Hewson’s shadow ministry in 1990 she poured her considerable energy into becoming – as Sydney Morning Herald columnist Alan Ramsey said at the time – “the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the estimates committee system”.

    Everything from government waste and public service indolence came under her pitiless interrogation. In September 1991 she savaged a parliamentary library project officer on her upcoming trip to China which was being paid for by both the library and the Chinese government.

    One senior Liberal party staffer told me that “it was one of the most obscene displays [they had] ever seen”.

    That same week Bishop was forced to release details of her own travel costs, which – for a backbencher – were simply staggering: $93,456 spent on airfares and car hire from July 1992 to June 1993.

    And that was before allegations from ex-staffer Ellis Glover were made to this writer that shortly after entering the Senate in 1987 she had hired a helicopter – at tax payer’s expense – to get from a fete to a dog show, so as not to be late for the opening.”

  63. Möbius Ecko

    This is how ex-L-NP ministers are helping to reduce the deficit: http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CLddcfWUAAAs2mk.png

    Let’s not forget that Howard not only running the most expensive government ever and Abbott being the most expensive LOTO ever, even more than the PM, Howard is also by far the most expensive ex-PM ever, costing more than all the other ex-PM’s combined.

    Their sense of entitlement sucking off the public teat doesn’t stop after they leave politics, in the case of the Liberals it’s expanded.

  64. David

    neil of..to insinuate Kenny is a Labor supporter is beyond the absurd it is a ludicrous comment but in keeping with your brain function. As for Abbotts ability to overrule re car purchases…you dont know a lot about the power of his office. Also we are talking about a company with personal ties to a rorting PM and donations to the Liberal Party.
    Go back to Bolt and co, you are a spent non force here

  65. keerti

    Interesting that the w…ker thinks his family should be kept out of front line news. He put them there.

  66. Neil of Sydney

    As for Abbotts ability to overrule re car purchases…you dont know a lot about the power of his office. Also we are talking about a company with personal ties to a rorting PM and donations to the Liberal Party.

    OK but is the PM of Australia on the phone barking orders about which bomb proof cars to purchase? It makes no sense to me. I would say it was completely a security issue, the Holdens were not good enough and that was that. PM’s are too busy and furthermore it would eventually come out. The BMW’s were purchased because they were a better car and the Australian made stuff was junk.

    In Australia it is the same. Nobody wants to buy Australian made cars because the import is better. In 2007 we made 25% of cars locally. After 6 years of Rudd/Gillard this had dropped to 10%. Nobody wanted to buy the local stuff.

  67. Pingback: Politics | Pearltrees

  68. J M Koles

    WE WANT AN ELECTION

  69. David

    Neil…that which makes sense to you and the majority of the remainder of us…has never that I can recall seen the light of day. I doubt ever will.
    Incidentally while I realise slagging off Julia is in your DNA (similar to the present lying criminal PM) where did you find the figures re making of cars that you attribute to the bad management of Labor Govts.
    If my memory serves, there were external’ factors’ contributing to the downturn of the car industry, ‘factors’ beyond the control of even the greatest treasurer in the world, the Hon Wayne Swann.
    But then you have never been keen on looking at the broad picture, tends to limit the stab of your point ‘;)’

  70. Kaye Lee

    “It makes no sense to me. I would say it was completely a security issue, the Holdens were not good enough and that was that. PM’s are too busy and furthermore it would eventually come out.”

    It DID come out. There was an official tender process. There was a winner. The order wasn’t placed at the time due to the cost. When Abbott became PM he ignored the tender process and awarded the contract to BMW who were not even on the short list.

    “No official decision has been made but the Daily Telegraph reported, citing anonymous government sources, that the prime minister’s office is leaning towards buying up bombproof BMWs after Holden failed to put in a bid.

    Holden has disputed the claim, saying it is involved in two of the bids and still hopeful of clinching the contract.”

    In May last year there was a story in the Australian titled “Give to the Liberal National Party, win a BMW”. It has since been removed.

  71. Neil of Sydney

    where did you find the figures re making of cars that you attribute to the bad management of Labor Govts.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/australian-car-industry-slams-the-brakes-biggest-sales-slowdown-since-the-gfc-and-tsunami/story-fnkgdhrc-1227175944937

    In 2005, locally made vehicles accounted for one in four (25 per cent) of all new cars sold. In 2014, less than one in 10 cars (or 9 per cent) was built locally.

    Labor destroyed our auto industry. Just shows that subsidies do not work. The more money auto makers were given the less Australians wanted to buy Australian made.

  72. Florence nee Fedup

    David. a little thing like GFC which many countries are still dealing with followed by extremely high dollars over years, that tore the guts out of our manufacture and tourist industries.

    Yes, no treasurer could get around them events.

  73. Kaye Lee

    “Just shows that subsidies do not work.”

    So why are we giving tens of billions in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry which EVERY sane economist is saying will become stranded assets?

  74. Florence nee Fedup

    Nothing much works when our dollar rosed to 107 cents USA. For a length of time never experienced in the past.

  75. David

    Kaye Lee, Florence…you see it, I see it, whats his name sees what he wants to see as long as it fits into its fantasies.

  76. Möbius Ecko

    Check Newspoll. Abbott said to give him six months. Time’s up, things haven’t gotten better, actually worse and Abbott hasn’t changed as promised. Bet this is yet another broken promise and he won’t step down.

  77. Michael Taylor

    And in six month he’ll say that it’s too close to the election to change leaders.

  78. Möbius Ecko

    Oh, he’ll definitely not step down as promised. July has gone and he’s sent the government and his own personal rating backwards, the things he staked his remaining on.

    Time and again Abbott cements himself as the greatest lying leader this country has seen. A man of no principles or decency.

  79. Kaye Lee

    Abbott once said “We are all promoted to our own level of incompetence.” In his case, he was right. He is inadequate….always has been.

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