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Pic: Bronny gets a peck from the PM ...

Bronwyn Bishop spending more on overseas travel than former Speakers

Bronwyn Bishop spent more than $300,000 of taxpayers’ dollars on overseas travel in her first year as federal Speaker, culminating in a $90,000 European trip partly aimed at securing her a plum new job abroad.

An analysis by Fairfax Media shows Mrs Bishop spent more on overseas travel in a 12-month period than any of her most recent predecessors – Anna Burke, Peter Slipper and Harry Jenkins.

Mrs Bishop spent $178,000 on four major trips in the first half of 2014 and $131,000 on two trips in the latter half — $309,000 in total. Only Mr Jenkins ever even came close to that figure, racking up $277,000 in 2009.

The final of Mrs Bishop’s 2014 trips – to Italy, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland – has stirred particular controversy.

Mrs Bishop led a small parliamentary delegation on the two-week trip which culminated in a week-long meeting in Geneva of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, of which she was campaigning to become president.

Mrs Bishop lost the vote to Bangladesh’s candidate – but not before racking up $88,084 in expenses.

The veteran Liberal warrior’s latest six-monthly entitlements report reveals she and two staff members, spokesman Damien Jones and official Talitha Try, spent $25,400 on accommodation and food, $42,400 on airfares and almost $14,000 on ground transport over the fortnight. They also pocketed about $6000 in advances and for minor and related expenses.

Even taking into account the fact that she had accompanying staff, Mrs Bishop’s spending dwarfs that of her four fellow delegates.

Read more, SMH here, includes other links to Bronny’s chopper flight and comment ...

• mr t in comments: It may be time for Bronwyn Bishop to visit a psychiatrist. Most of her travel claims can be written off as privileges taken by one who feels an excessive sense of entitlement and a delusional sense of self but the Geelong flight rises to dizzying new heights. Like one who needs to continuously wash their hands like Lady Macbeth, Bronwyn might have a fear of sharing space with the unclean. Even a lowly Commcar chauffeur might have a personality or personal habits detrimental to the Speaker’s meticulous style. Time for the couch, madam.

Anne: An own goal ...

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• Elizabeth O’Dwyer in Comments: Madam, You are an absolute disgrace, defrauding the Australian public. You are also lying. I have just watched your press conference, your dismissive attitude towards the voter and the media was breathtaking, in fact almost beyond belief if it were anyone but you. You should be utterly ashamed of yourself …

More Karl Satire ... Errors of Judgment here

• Ruth Lansdell in Comments: Bronwyn Bishop, the most disgraceful Speaker in the history of our nation.  Her sense of over entitlement personifies the arrogance of the Liberal Party. The money claimed for her luxury copter ride to Geelong equates to approximately 25% of the annual single age pension.  How dare she break the rules and then claim that it was an error of judgement. Was her junket to Europe last year to attempt to secure a plum international post, justified?  I think not. Serious questions need to be asked also of the AFP …

SMH: Bronwyn Bishop’s expensive love affair with charter flights began nearly two decades ago