*Pic: PM Abbott greets Bronny …

A Statement on Bronwyn Bishop’s resignation as Speaker

Thank God for that. Watching this saga unfold was worse than getting your wisdom teeth out.

Bronwyn Bishop’s resignation is overdue and must not be the end of action taken against her in particular.

The Member for Mackellar’s misuse of entitlements is of remarkable proportions and must be investigated by the Australian Federal Police to find out if criminal fraud has occurred.

But the Prime Minister is wrong to suggest that this comes down to the gap between current entitlements and community expectations.

The fact is that the current entitlements rules do not allow a Member or Senator to go somewhere principally for private reasons and then to certify it as an official trip.

To do so is fraud.

I do welcome a root and branch review of entitlements.

But it must, however, be a robust review and one that stamps out, among other things, practices like Members of Parliament tripping around Australia for all sorts of private reasons under cover of a short meeting with a colleague or journalist etc.

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• Brian Kahn in Comments: Phillip Corey and Primrose Riordan list a summary of Bronwyn Bishop’s expenditure on entitlements { $ } November 2013 –present $846,299.27 In comparison to other speakers namely … Anna Burke,October 2012 – August 2013, $29,442.00, Peter Slipper, November 2011-October 2012, $48,492.00 …

• phill Parsons in Comments: B. Bishop is getting off lightly when compared to the treatment of Slipper over his cab charges. They were found not to be fraudulent because Parliamentary Business was not defined. $3.5million was spent proving nothing when Slipper could have been forced to pay the money back. There is little doubt that the campaign against Slipper was planned and orchestrated by Lieberals, with Pyne and Brough noted for their meetings with Ashby. Wilkie has generated a definition that should be written into the root and branch review if it ever concludes and changes made. What I cannot understand is why there is not a Federal ICAC.