News National These pollies spent the most taxpayer dollars

These pollies spent the most taxpayer dollars

Mr Pasin blames his costly refurbs on lack of facilities.
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Liberal MP Tony Pasin has racked up the most expensive office refurbishment bill in the federal parliament, an official report has revealed.

The Mount Gambier-based politician blamed the $506,752 expenditure on lack of suitable facilitates within his electorate.

“The figures published today are similar to equivalent newly established premises for Members of Parliament particularly in regional locations where there has been no previous facilities in place,” Mr Pasin told News Corp.

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Details of travel and other expenses clocked up by serving and former federal politicians, for the second half of 2014, were released by the Department of Finance on Thursday.

Next in line for the most costly office refurbs was Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie spending $456,793 on her Burnie office, Victorian MP Tim Watts spending $340,454, and Queensland MP Mal Borough racking up $336,947 on spruicing up his Sunshine Coast office.

Ms Lambie had the highest telecommunications bill for Tasmania.
Ms Lambie had the highest telecommunications bill for Tasmania. Photo: AAP

Ms Lambie also topped the list of Tasmanian federal politicians who spent money on travel, office upgrades, and phone and internet bills in a recent six-month period.

The independent senator spent $350,000 on her Burnie office, while her state colleagues collectively spent more than $2.5 million in the last six months of 2014.

Ms Lambie had the highest telecommunications bill at $5,000, while, retiring Greens Senator Christine Milne spent $141,000 on her office facilities.

The report also revealed Assistant Minister for Infrastructure Jamie Briggs accrued more than $35,000 worth of vehicle expenses during the period — more than any other South Australian MP or Senator.

Seven times he charged COMCAR — the Government’s hire car provider — more than $400 for single booking, including a $583.03 for a single bill one Friday in September in Sydney.

During the same period, Prime Minister Tony Abbott claimed $19,000 in domestic travelling allowance when staying overnight outside Canberra or Sydney. The Prime Minister spent more than $814,000 on overseas travel.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten claimed more than $15,000 on domestic travelling allowance and spent $37,000 on overseas travel.

Meanwhile, a building assessment on Parliament House this week revealed it would need more than $300 million in upgrades during the next decade to meet with safety standards.

With much of the building’s infrastructure nearly 30-years-old, the 14-volume condition report found significant problems with its storm water drainage, toilets and chillers.

The security system in place, which was being upgraded due to the increased terror threat, was assessed as only in “average or moderate condition”.

All up, it needed $600 million spent on it over the next 25 years, the report showed.

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