Embattled Labor MP Emma Husar has defended a taxpayer-funded trip to Queensland, during which she attended a Bruno Mars concert.
Ms Husar, who is being investigated for allegations of staff bullying and misuse of entitlements, attended the concert in Brisbane on March 14 after attending a committee hearing in Cairns that day.
“Of course no work expenses were used to attend a concert. Any assertion otherwise is preposterous,” a spokesman for the western Sydney MP said on Wednesday.
“The concert tickets were a birthday gift from a friend.”
Ms Husar also took to Twitter yesterday to repeat what her spokesman said.
She flew into Brisbane from Cairns, claiming $114 for a government-funded Comcar from the airport to her hotel.
Taxpayers were also charged for her hotel room, which she shared with a friend.
Ms Husar had meetings with a homelessness service and a domestic violence call centre in Brisbane the following day.
2/2 The concert tickets were a birthday present from a friend. Confident I’ve always acted within the rules but have asked IPEA to double-check and review as I take the use of taxpayers’ money extremely seriously.
— Emma Husar MP (@emmahusarmp) August 1, 2018
Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said she had been told the reports were inaccurate.
“It is absolutely vital that every single dollar of taxpayer funding is used appropriately, there is no question of that,” Ms Plibersek told Sky News.
“If there are any issues like this to investigate they should be looked at properly. Every single dollar of taxpayer funding should be used appropriately.”
The latest accusations against Ms Husar is taking personal leave after revealing she had received threats of violence following a string of bullying claims being made against her.
The MP faces an internal investigation by the NSW Labor Party after being accused of using staff employed by her office to mind her children and clean up after her dog, with one employee describing working for the MP as “hell”.
Ms Husar said she has received threatening messages, including threats of violence, that she has referred to federal police.
“I have written to the chief opposition whip to advise him that I will be taking personal leave, effective immediately,” she said in a statement last week.
“I’m a single mum and my first priority is the safety and wellbeing of my children.
“The best thing for me and my family right now is for us to be out of the spotlight so I can access support.
Ms Husar said her electorate office would continue to operate as normal.