News National ‘Catching the train’: Turnbull’s sly dig at Bronwyn Bishop

‘Catching the train’: Turnbull’s sly dig at Bronwyn Bishop

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On a morning when Speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s high-flying travel expense claims are once again attracting attention, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reminded Australia that he catches public transport, just like an average Joe.

On Wednesday morning he shared his travel arrangements with his 395,000 Twitter followers, letting them know he was transferring from a Melbourne tram to a V-Line train on his way to a meeting in Geelong.

The Speaker, on the other hand, was pilloried for claiming a $5000 chartered helicopter flight on expenses for the same journey – of less than 100kms – to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Shorten calls for speaker’s resignation
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Mrs Bishop spent big for a short flight.
Bishop says she won’t resign. Photo: AAP

Pressure on Mrs Bishop intensified on Wednesday morning when reports emerged she charged taxpayers $288 in travel allowance to stay in Brisbane on the night of Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro’s wedding in 2007, News Corp reported on Wednesday.

Mrs Bishop has also been asked to provide evidence proving she was on parliamentary business when she claimed $600 for return flights from Sydney to Albury, coinciding with the wedding of former MP Sophie Mirabella in 2006.

Ms Bishop claims she travelled to Albury on parliamentary committee business before attending Ms Mirabella’s wedding.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has backed his Speaker, but said she was “on probation” before the most recent news of her travel expense claims was brought to light.

During a press conference, Ms Bishop said she wouldn’t resign over an ‘error of judgement’.

“One doesn’t resign for an error of judgment when it’s within the guidelines, and indeed it is,” she said.