WANNON MP Dan Tehan says his political expenditure of nearly $264,000 for the six months of last year is “nothing out of the ordinary.”
Mr Tehan said his political expenditure claim for the second half of last year was close to the average of other federal MPs. His claim of $264,000 compares with the $256,000 claimed by Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson and the $262,000 claimed by Member for Mallee Andrew Broad.
It includes Mr Tehan’s claim for $34,052.75 in overseas travel – much of it for travel he did in his role as chairman of Federal Parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.
Mr Tehan said he visited France, the United Kingdom and the United States last year in his role as the committee’s chairman and the overseas travel claim included travel expenses for others who were also on the trip.
He said he supported the idea of full transparency for politicians’ expenses.
Mr Tehan’s overseas travel claims were below the $42,753 claimed by federal health and sport minister Sussan Ley, the $42,638 claimed by Warren Snowden and the $38,779 claimed by Warren Truss for the same six months.
Mr Tehan’s overall political expenditure of $264,000 for the last six months of 2015 included a travelling allowance of $18,330 for trips to Canberra and Warrnambool and $13,253 for domestic fares.
It also includes $107,873 for the office administrative costs of Mr Tehan’s Warrnambool and Hamilton electorate offices and $55,705 for the office facilities costs of the two offices. Other costs during the six months were $20,198 car costs, $7434 for telecommunications and $6873 for office fit outs.
“This is the cost of having a local MP,” Mr Tehan said.
The costs include that of many Australian flags that Mr Tehan’s offices give to community groups upon request.
Mr Tehan’s travel claims this year will include his trip as Veterans Affairs Minister to Turkey for the 100th anniversary of the Anzac battle.