Posted: 10:24 am on 9th September 2013

airplaneOne of the highlights of WasteWatch’s day is reading through the Parliamentarians’ Overseas Study Travel Reports, and watching flailing politicians desperately trying to justify their taxpayer-funded junkets.

Volume Three of the most recent edition, which covers July-December 2012, is a case in point.

Witness Labor Senator Claire Moore writing about her two-week $8,000 trip to Ireland in November last year, as part of the Australia-Ireland Parliamentary Friendship Group:

The overseas study entitlement was used to travel to Ireland to strengthen parliament to parliament relationships between Australia and Ireland and to investigate policies and programs with similar concerns to Australian issues.

The trip included a visit to the ancient burial mound at Newgrange, a casual stroll around Killarney National Park, a traditional Irish music show, a trip to Trinity College Library to see the Book of Kells, and, of course, a tour of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

No doubt many parliament to parliament relationships were strengthened in Gravity Bar, the fancy drinking hole at the top of brewery.

Also poetic is Christopher Pyne’s account of his $900-a-day trip to London for the Australia-Israel-UK Leadership Dialogue, during which the participants discussed the recent re-election of Barack Obama, and:

its effect on the Middle East sands and the Afghanistan Mountains.

Who knows whether Mr Pyne doesn’t quite trust his geography to be any more exact, or whether it is an outburst of parliamentary poetry reminiscent of the US Marine Corps’ hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli…”

Anyway, if you, dear reader, are ever stuck without a book or magazine, WasteWatch can recommend the Parliamentarians’ Overseas Study Travel Reports.

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