Sunshine Coast Daily

MPs spend up big on public purse for office fit-outs

OUTSPOKEN crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie claimed $356,000 to fit out her Tasmanian office last year, parliamentarian entitlements figures show.

Despite the high price tag, Senator Lambie's office fitout was not the most expensive listed in entitlements data for July to December 2014, tabled on Thursday in Federal Parliament.

The entitlements reports provide some details of what MPs claim in taxpayer expenses associated with their official functions.

The most costly office fitout was for South Australian Liberal MP Tony Pasin, at $500,000; while Sunshine Coast LNP MPs Wyatt Roy ($300,000) and Mal Brough ($330,000) spent up big.

A spokesman for Senator Lambie said the cost of her fitout was common, as it had to meet government security and workplace standards. Senator Lambie had asked for a ground-level office with access for disabled veterans, including a wide door for wheelchair access.

Entitlements data also showed Prime Minister Tony Abbott claimed $469,583 on overseas travel for ministerial visits to India, Indonesia, the United States, China and the Pacific Islands forum.

Mr Abbott's ministerial US visit was the most costly of those trips at $132,221 for five days of travel, including a $76,934 food and accommodation bill.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten claimed $37,884 for overseas travel; $26,770 for an office fitout and $60,391 for domestic fares.

Mr Shorten visited New Zealand for two days, costing $5996 and the United States for seven days costing $31,888.

Senator Lambie's fellow crossbencher, Liberal-Democrat David Leyonhjelm spent $260,333 on an office fitout.


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