Monday, July 20, 2015

Snouts in the trough

Image source:'s-Bicycle
Federal parliamentary speaker Bronwyn Bishop is on probation for taking a $5000 taxpayer funded helicopter trip to attend a recent Liberal Party fundraiser, with little to no relevance to her parliamentary duties. Whilst I agree that she made a serious mistake, it's hardly the worst thing a Speaker has done.

Some of us voters are old enough to remember Leo McLeay, who served as speaker from 1989-1993. He was awarded $65,000 in compensation for elbow injuries when in 1990, a foldable bicycle he hired from the Parliament House gym collapsed beneath him. Diddums.

It wasn't a good look, especially at a time when Australia was going through the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930's. He was also warned that the bicycle wasn't strong enough to support his weight.

Bishop's error of judgement once again highlights the need for the rules concerning appropriate usage of politicians' travel allowances to be tightened. At one time or another, politicians of all parties have been caught out doing the wrong thing.

No comments: