Groom MP under fire for $11,000 charter flight

GROOM MP Ian Macfarlane's justification of an $11,000 charter flight from Canberra to Toowoomba has been criticised by his electorate.

More than 50 comments were lodged on The Chronicle's website and about 50 Facebook followers had their say on revelations in today's paper.

It comes in the wake of the choppergate scandal scrutinising Federal Liberal speaker Bronwyn Bishop's extravagant $5000 helicopter flight to make a political fundraising event.

Mr Macfarlane justified the $11,081.82 flight as the only way he could fulfil the obligations of his portfolio on September 8, 2014.

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He was required at meetings with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the morning, an opening of a new arts centre in Toowoomba that afternoon and in Cabinet meetings that evening.

Amy Donaldson said the spend was not "fair use of taxpayers' money" in her comment on Facebook.

"With the ridiculous amount of money they get paid already they have too many things they claim on top of their salary," she said.

John O'Brien said the public had an expectation for politicians to appear at events, but not if it required a chartered flight.

Groom MP Ian Macfarlane spent more than $11,000 on a charter flight so he could attend the opening of an arts centre. It...

Posted by The Chronicle on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"While I am happy that they should not have to pay their own way, I believe that common sense needs to be used when calculating costs," he said.

"If they are in the area for prior business then attend. If they have to charter a flight because a long drive isn't viable then is the trip required?"

What you said on thechronicle.com.au

  • ThomasM6714995428: They think they can justify anything, well what could that money have paid for more nurses and better hospitals
  • Wattos: Another Federal MP with his nose in the taxpayer funded trough
  • TheTrailBoss: To open an arts centre is simply a ceremonial duty. It isn't worth spending $11,000 on a flight to be there.
  • RangeResident: And if he notified the arts centre that he couldn't keep his appointment due to ministerial duties in Canberra, the local paper, and all the regular commentators here would be whinging non-stop because he doesn't represent his electorate.

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