Posted: 10:25 am on 3rd June 2014

airplaneTaxpayer-funded travel is surely one of the biggest perks of being a pollie.

Remember the $50,000-an-hour pollie shuttle?

Or WasteWatch’s paean to the old Parliamentarians’ Overseas Study Travel Reports?

Well, it seems that Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley wanted in on the action.

Senator Polley has racked up a travel bill of nearly $30,000 of taxpayer money on 20 charter flights between Launceston and Hobart between February 2011 and March 2013, according to documents from the Finance Department.

The Senator has defended her travel expenditure, saying:

Although I am based in Launceston, many of the meetings and constituent issues I have to attend to are in Hobart or elsewhere in the state.

However, as Liberal Bass MP Andrew Nikolic pointed out:

For someone without portfolio responsibilities that does appear to be an extraordinary amount of money.

WasteWatch couldn’t agree more. At a time of cuts to government assistance to many Australians, our pollies shouldn’t be able to get away with forcing the taxpayer to spend half the median Australian income on their jet-setting.

William Shrubb, Research Assistant

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