Queensland’s premier and other ministers racked up more than $80,000 worth of accommodation during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games due to security concerns.
Annastacia Palaszczuk and ministers including Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones stayed in $720-a-night suites at the five-star Sheraton Grand Mirage during the Games.
State Treasurer Jackie Trad on Sunday defended the measures, claiming they were done for security reasons.
“It was very much the advice of the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Police Commissioner that all senior public dignitaries like the premier and like the minister for the Commonwealth Games stay in the one location with the Commonwealth Games Federation,” Ms Trad said.
“Just the same way the prime minister stayed there under security advice, the same way that the federal sports minister LNP member Bridget McKenzie stayed there under advice from Queensland security officials.”
Ms Trad repeated the government’s assertion that the economic benefit of the Gold Coast event to Queensland well exceeded the money spent on it.
The opposition’s Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the expense incurred was “obscene” and the premier could have easily travelled home to Brisbane for many of the nights.
“One of those nights she was charged for accommodation the premier wasn’t even there. She was in Bundaberg,” he said.
“One of her other ministers spent a third of that money in accommodation [elsewhere]. That would have been totally more appropriate.”
The accommodation bill for Ms Palaszczuk and Ms Jones alone was more than $20,000, while dozens of staffers were also housed in high-end resorts.