Posted: 11:40 am on 19th August 2013

Just last week, WasteWatch brought you news of the $34 000 taxpayer-funded art binge for public service offices.

Now the pollies are getting in on the action. It seems interior decorating has become the new way to pass time in the halls of Parliament House.

As we wait with bated breath for the most recent report on our parliamentarians’ expenditure, the July-December 2012 report makes interesting reading.

Top of the list of notable spending was Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie, who was the seventh most profligate parliamentarian in terms of ‘office fit-out costs’, spending over $300,000 beautifying her office.

However, she was outdone by Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who managed to rack up a staggering $317,000 on his interior decorating. One wonders what the notoriously abstemious Bob Brown – who spent just $3,400 in his last six months in office – would think.

Independent Andrew Wilkie also spent more than $150,000 on his office fit-out.

These three were the only parliamentarians who hold no other official positions, like being a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary, to spend over $100 000 on office fit-outs in the six-month period covered by the report.

Bear in mind, though, that the current base salary for Members of Parliament is just shy of $200,000. These are people who are used to the beautiful things in life. They just want the rest of us to pay for them.

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