Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning

By Margo Kingston

9 July, 2013

Today’s original Abbott #BATTLERORT transcript was kindly transcribed by Dr Lachlan Hinds – @Doclach, and Brock Turner – @Turlow1.

There are errors and lies throughout – have a go at finding them by reading the letters in EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book.

Yesterday’s lie


Did you claim travel expenses on your book tour?


I did not.


(Transcript Source: Mr Abbott website)


Mr Abbott, how is Peter Slipper incorrectly claiming $900 and offering to pay it back different from you incorrectly claiming $9000 worth of travel expenses and then paying it back? How are the situations different?


Well look, this matter was fully dealt with last year. There’s nothing further to add.


Well he’s facing charges and you just got to pay $9000 back. How are those two situations different?


Well as I said, this matter was fully dealt with by the Labor minister last year who said that the matter was closed.


And why were the travel expenses incorrectly claimed? How did that happen? Can you explain what happened in your office that you incorrectly claimed $9000 worth of travel expenses?


The matter was fully dealt with last year.


But you’re not explaining how it occurred, why it occurred, why it happened in the first place?


As I said, it was an oversight in my office. It was fully dealt with last year.


Why did you use Comcars on your book tour? Surely you would have known when you were using the Comcars that you were on private business?


Fully dealt with last year. The Labor Minister at the time was perfectly satisfied that there had been nothing that was deliberately done wrong and the matter was closed.


Do you take responsibility for the mistake?


I think I’ve fully dealt with it. Time to move on.


It’s been reported that you have been forced to repay the amount? Are the reports inaccurate?


This was dealt with two years ago. This is old news. Old news. Now, why is Kevin Rudd now trying to dish this sort of dirt? Kevin Rudd came into the prime ministership a few days ago and he said let’s have a kinder, gentler polity. Now, that was a bit rich from someone who’d spent three years and three days plotting against a prime minister, but he called for a kinder, gentler polity and he called for positive politics. Now, we’ve got the Labor Party spinning this kind of stuff. Now, let’s move on.


It’s not the Labor Party. It’s an independent website who did an FOI?


Let’s move on. Let’s move on.

<Poll, boats, debt and deficit blah blah blah>


Mr Abbott, why didn’t you say yesterday you had incorrectly claimed those travel expenses?


Look, I think we’ve fully dealt with this. Gary Gray dealt with this…


You just repeated your lines over and over again to me you haven’t answered any questions.


Calm down. Gary Gray looked at this matter two years ago. He said there’s nothing to see here. Ok. Next question.


After you repaid. Do you take responsibility for the incorrect claim of $9,000?


I didn’t claim travel allowance. I never claimed travel allowance. My office inadvertently booked some travel as official, which should not have been booked that way. It’s been fully dealt with.


No, there were expenses. Gary Gray wrote back after you repaid the initial $6,000 and said there were travel expenses that had been claimed, such as comcars.


Ok. Are there any other questions?


What is your response to the Labor Party reforms for the Caucus and leadership with Kevin Rudd?


As I said, this is all about Kevin. This is all about Kevin. The faceless men did for Kevin before, and he wants to make sure that he’s protected against him if he gets another chance. Now, it shouldn’t be all about Kevin, it should be about the Australian people and the best thing that we can do right now is to ensure that the prime ministership of this country is in the hands of the Australian people. So, again I say to the Prime Minister, I say to Kevin Rudd, what are you hiding from? Give it back to the Australian people. Name the date, end the suspense, let’s have an election.


Will the Labor Party reforms neutralise your attack on the faceless men?


Well, it vindicates our attack on the faceless men. It absolutely vindicates our attack on the faceless men. It is an admission by Kevin Rudd that he is frightened of the faceless men. It is an admission by him that he is frightened of the faceless men. But the choice for the Australian people is between a party which is controlled by faceless men and a party which has always belonged to its members. The choice for the Australian people is between a party which doesn’t think it elects its leaders the right way and a party which has never had this kind of a problem. It’s a choice between debt and boats and the carbon tax on the one hand and between surpluses and deregulation and low tax and border security on the other hand. It’s the clearest possible choice and I say let the choice be made. Name the date, let’s have the election. Stop running away from it. Bring it on now, Mr Rudd.


For the Public  Record:


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  1. You should try to interview Gary Gray.

    And what about the comment Abbott made on the Labor leader at that time also thought there was’ nothing to see here’, is that also correct?

  2. Abbotts Acon says

    This is what Abbott does every time. How does he get away with it? What cowards the journos are.
    And Slipper’s up on a mere $1,000 of travel expenses.
    Love it though when Mr Filthy whinges “They’re playing stunts and dirty tricks”. He’d know, wouldn’t he? What else can he do? And he wasn’t even wearing gloves handling those pies!

  3. Tony of Poorakistan says

    Am I the only one that doesn’t see this as a big deal? A staffer made an error, it was picked up (as I hope they all would be) and it was dealt with.

    It isn’t as if he was booking hookers on his official Mastercard or buying and selling houses using the voters’ money. Move on.

    • Denise Allen says

      Tony, then I’m sue you support slippers charges being dropped?

    • It’s a big deal because Peter Slipper is facing criminal proceedings for a similar offence involving only $900. Get with the program.

    • Slipper gets police charges, why not Abbott?

      • John Watters says

        In view of the fact that Abbott has “escaped” AFP examination on the Battlerort issue perhaps a referral to AFP of illegal claims for TA made by Abbott as outlined by “Oldfart” on IndependentAustralia10 July, 2013 at 7:51 am may see Abbott be held to account!

        seeing tony has had a rush of blood to the head and finally rememebered that he wrongfully claimed expenses while promoting his toilet paper dispenser”battle lines”. Will he also remember these;
        “6 Jan 2012 TAbbott competes in Pier to Pub swim in Lorne, claims $349 in travel allowance + $1095 flights to Melb
        21 April 2012 TAbbott competes in Hervey Bay Surf Lifesaving Pier to Pub swim, claims $349 travel allowance + $2023 flights
        5 August 2012 TAbbott competes in Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge, claims $349 travel allowance for Coffs on 4 August + $650 flights
        9 Sept 2012 TAbbott competes in Wagga ‘Lake to Lagoon’ fun run, claims $354 travel allowance on 8 Sept & $160 for flights
        Dec 2012 TAbbott the trucker drives rig down Pacific Hway, claims $1108 in travel allowance for staying 3 nights in Brisbane, Coffs & Terrigal
        TAbbott claimed $9600 for charter travel to/from Aurukun Mission when he volunteered there in 2012
        TAbbott claimed travel allowance when he volunteered at Aurukun in 2012
        TAbbott claimed $1700 in travel allowance for his volunteer work as truancy assistant in Aurukun in 2009
        TAbbott claimed travel allowance for his volunteer work as builders labourer in Hopevale in 2011

        “Travel Allowance should only be paid when travel is primarily for official business, committee meetings, or parliamentary political party meetings.”

    • Susan in Lyne says

      Tony of Poorakistan….Looks like you may be robinson crusoe.

      Can’t you see the hypocrisy of the man who thunders about the dreadful Mr Slipper’s expense claims yet has claimed close to
      10 times the amount over which Mr Slipper is being investigated

    • Yes Tony you are the only one… there is plenty to see and plenty of unanswered questions. You and the Mad Monk would like everyone to move on, but the wanna-be PM needs to answer questions (for once)… a very big contrast to Gillard standing up to the media and taking all questions on a beat up several months back.
      There is plenty of substance to these concerns, plenty of questions, but no answers.
      So tired of this clown running away from questions and accountability.
      Top marks to the journo who finally made Abbott stop and half answer what was being asked

      • Agree – kudos to that journalist – and how informative it is to see how inadequate his response is. I have seen him consume and handle food, walk, dissemble endlessly and inter-act with people and I am less than impressed with so many aspects of this mans personality.

    • Tony, It was picked up – but not by Abbott’s staff. When it was first discovered, Abbott’s staff denied it, and he continues to avoid the question. Simply put, if he did not misuse his travel expenses, why did he pay it back, and why did his staff not find their own mistake?

    • Kelly Bowman says

      It is a big deal because of the hypocrisy Abbott’s lie casts on his character. The coalition’s baiting and pursuit of Slipper over a comparatively tiny amount of money which he has tied to repay, the apparent conspiracy hatched by Ashby and Brough is disgusting and possibly criminal. Where are the press gallery when these issues need to be analysed? I look to No Fibs and Independent Australia now for real journalism.
      You are at the top of my Faves toolbar.

    • Hey Tony – when the protocol is claim everything you think you can get away with, and then repay when someone pulls you up – what can you expect the people to feel – surely the protocol has to be that prove the expense is legitimate and then put your claim in …

      There was a reason Abbott did not go after Slipper and why Gillard did not go after Thompson directly – some $370 million is parliamentary expenses between 230 MP’s and Senators – thats $1.6 million a pop – that is a nice ‘dip’ if nobody is really watching but the foxes already in the hen house … Gray for gods sake – is he an auditor or another Union man acting as the gatekeper …

    • Agree Tony. It’s not as though Tony Abbott used paper cabcharge dockets and refused to use the magnetic stripe cards that identify GPS co-ordinates and intentionally filled in the locations as “suburb” and “city” rather than specifics.

      You lot need to take a pill – perhaps you could hyperventilate over Tony Burke’s repayment of over $7000 for family travel claims, Julia Gillard’s $438 Taxi fare repayment, Trish Crossin $3022, Kirstin Livermore $3642, Peter Dutton $4618, Dennis jensen $13411. Clearly these entitlements were incorrectly claimed and when identified they were paid back by the parliamentarian concerned. Slipper has paid back over $17000 over the years, but the nature of the Cabcharge claims. It’s not as though he was given the offer to repay it. He’d done so in the past when claims were identified as ineligible.

      You may be more circumspect knowing what was and wasn’t allowed in the past and you wouldn’t do it again in the future unless you expected to get away with it.

      I don’t expect Ministers and Shadow Ministers to spend their time filling in claim forms, that’s why taxpayers supply them with administrative staff. They should be governing our country rather than completing paperwork – so get over it.

      • Observer says

        The point is that Slipper is being prosecuted. Other parliamentarian are not. Abbott persecuted Slipper for political advantage to bring on early election. It’s the double standard that is offensive as is the lie. This is unprincipled behaviour IMO not worthy of a would be prime minister or even member of parliament.

  4. It wouldn’t be a big deal if Abbott just came clean about the whole thing. It wouldn’t be a big deal if George Brandis had allowed Peter Slipper to repay the money as Abbott was allowed to repay 10 times the amount. It’s a big deal because there’s one rule for the LNP and another harsher rule for everyone else.

  5. David lewis says

    That aint the point Tony….its consistency of process. Remember Asbestos Bishop acting as Gillards inquisitor?

  6. If this was an error, why were his ministerial staffers booking his personal travel?

    There’s something to see here.

    • Staffers always book the travel. Abbott had to have lied to the department of the special minister of state where travel arrangements are finalised. So he lied double speed.

  7. Steve Walz says

    TAbbott – do you agree the Westminster principle that the MP is responsible for the actions of their office? As PM, will you be accountable for actions of your staff?

  8. Angrybudgie says

    Yeah an error that was made in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012. Once is an error, twice might be a coincidence, but more than tha? That’s not an error that’s a habit of claiming allowances that you are not entitiled to.

  9. Tony of Poorakistan – yes, you are the only one. Abbott wants to lead the country. He has repeatedly used the line ‘goes to character’ when talking about Gillard and Rudd. It is unreasonable to suggest the same does not apply to him. You don’t ride to your own book launch in a Comm car, or fly in a plane to your own book launch, or stay overnight on your own book launch, and then say it was an oversight. Apart from anything else, voters of all persuasions must ask why he is so reluctant to answer the questions posed. Ultimately, he is responsible for what happens in his office and as he is also fond of saying, ‘I will be responsible for what happens on my watch (as PM).’ He must demonstrate he has the character to do so by being frank and transparent on the matter of expenses.

    • Susan in Lyne says

      “You don’t ride to your own book launch in a Comm car, or fly in a plane to your own book launch, or stay overnight on your own book launch, and then say it was an oversight.”

      Spot on Hannah and strange as it may seem to us mere voters Mr Abbott appears to have made this “oversight” repeatedly and to the tune of $9000
      Explain that please LNP supporters

  10. “Well, um, I didn’t claim travel allowance, I never CLAIMED travel allowance”


    SO..who claimed these expenses?
    Who signed off on these claims for reimbursement verifying they’re accurate? Abbott?
    How are com-cars used? Do drivers hand a book to sign before Abbott gets out of the car?
    What about refunding part of his taxpayer wages for these book promotions?
    Since when do taxpayers take financial responsibility for any politician to write books for profit or undertake promotions to generate more personal income?

  11. Lemon Curry says

    @Tony: Yes, but “it didn’t happen” and “it was dealt with” are mutually exclusive statements, rather like the mutual exclusivity between “I have no recollection” and “it didn’t happen”. There’s clearly a trend here.

    • Or no specific knowledge of claiming entitlements he knew he wasn’t entitled to. Or no specific knowledge of the jiggery pokery wrt Ashbygate.

  12. It’s a bigger deal because 1. there was around a further $3000 on top of the “staffer error” 2. The ongoing campaign against Peter Slipper, in which he was referred to the police, for similar events (less money involved) 3. Abbott is on the record as misspeaking about this and won’t correct that record (and refuses to answer questions regarding 1 and 2, as above) 4. He’s quite wrongly attributed the whole putting together of the issue to Kevin Rudd and this has been the main thing picked up, incorrectly, by MSM.

  13. Boris Kelly says

    Malcolm is definitely dusting off the top hat now.

  14. and if the travel was for a private matter, viz the launch of his book, why were his taxpayer employed staff making the bookings for him?

  15. You must be the only one who thinks this is NOT a big deal as it does not matter who made the claim, it was made in Tony Abbott’s name for his expenses to cover his book release plus using a Com Car for the wrong reason’s. Several other politicians have done this over the years and have been made to pay back the amount’s but in slippers case he was not given the time to pay the money back and the person who had been pushing for the AFP to get involved was Tony Abbott himself plus Abbott was also paying for the legal fees just like he did with the Hanson One Nation incident. Abbott is a certified liar but when you put the pressure on, he start’s to crack and either does not answer any questions or just RUNS away. How could any Australian trust him to be PM?

  16. A staffer allegedly made an error, it was picked up, it was dealt with.

    If there’s “nothing to see,” why the unremitting evasiveness and prevarication.

    Amazingly, some have no problem with a character like that becoming PM.

  17. Staffer made an error – pull the other one. It matters because he’s been caught out lying again. This man would be leader of our country. I wouldn’t trust him to spin the wheel on bingo night.

  18. Why were parliamentary staff booking travel for private business, they are not personal assistants?

  19. marshall says

    Why is Tony Abbott allowed to claim expenses whilst competing in sporting events? Do we pay for the budgie smugglers as well?

    • Saaq Madiq says

      I would pay for the smugglers personally because Tone without them would be a whole lot uglier than he already is.

  20. That blue tie the Liberals wear, it matches very well with the corporate colours of their ABC. Coincidence?

  21. Abbott lies consistently because he insanely believes in the Jesuit edict that the end (in this case, his ascension to PM) justifies the means

    • Read an interesting article in the Australian Financial Review 21st march 2013 written by Laura Tingle”why abbott dismissed the libs in 1987″. Some good insights into his head. I personally think he has many demons constantly at war inside his head, the frantic exercise helps him keep the lid on.

      • Saaq Madiq says

        There is a lot of vacant space between those huge ears, and not a lot going on.

  22. Don’t forget that he also instructed his staff to book those planes, cars and accommodation on such and such a date. Otherwise how would they know he needed flights, cars and accommodation? (Thought I’d say it twice!!) Now, has he also paid back the staff wages, printing etc associated with those bookings as he is not allowed to use staff for personal business? IMHO he still has many questions to answer!

  23. Karma.

  24. Richard Miller says

    Did Mr Abbott claim any of the “expenses” in his tax returns for 09/10 and 10/11 ? The $6255 wasn’t repaid until after he should have lodged his return for 09/10 in May ’11.

    Considering the number of trips in July -August, and the scrutiny applied to parliamentarians following rorting during Howard’s term, it beggars credulity that we are dealing with an “innocent” mistake. That he had to be asked to make a second payment indicates that he never even bothered to check with the special Department of Finance officers who are experts on such matters. Had such a referral been made no doubt Mr Abbott would have said so in the interview.

  25. Joy Cooper says

    An interesting point was brought up by the journalist, in the first question above. It was the fact that Peter Slipper OFFERED to pay back the $900 he erroneously claimed (& it was an error). Tony Abbott HAD to be asked more than once to repay the first amount of more than $6000. Eventually his Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin repaid it. Then Gary Gray HAD to ask, sternly, in writing, for the remainder owed, over $3000, to also be repaid. No offering to repay once it was discovered that these claims were non-work related, in fact he disputed that they were not legit. He continues to lie about this. Hope he gets audited..

    Incidentally, I am rather curious as to where the money came from to repay these expense claims. Hmmmmmmm.

  26. And the irony of his castigating KRudd for this? KRudd hasn’t even mentioned it. Apparently KRudd is also a bad man because Tony is all for the proposed “gentler, kinder polity”. Can’t remember anything “gentle” or “kind” in Tony’s statements about Slipper or Thompson, nor in his dealings with Gillard over the carbon tax, the death of her father or countless other examples. What a hypocrite.

  27. Tony of Poorakistan says

    My understanding is that Slipper was dobbed in to the AFP and it became a police matter, whereas the normal procedure (for both sides) is that Finance draft a letter and quiet restitution is made. After all, most of the mistakes *would* be made by staffers.

    The real question is – who dobbed Slipper in to get around the convention?

    Abbott has form here in that it was he who organised the lynch gang to persecute Hanson, seeing her jailed on charges that were later quashed. If it can be proved that he dobbed Slipper in, then that speaks volumes for his lack of character. And his hypocrisy.

    • J.Fraser says

      Nice to see you back in the groove.

      You’re absolutely right to ask that question.

      Who indeed.

    • George Brandis of course, his mates in the AFP ask how high when he tells them to jump. Of course Steve Lewis was also involved don’t forget and that only happened after Rares dismissed the sexual harassment case.

    • Richard Miller says

      Abbott got the benefit of the Minchin Protocol cooked up by Nick Minchin after he got caught ( see Margot’s original piece) but the smelly part of that is that it does not involve any determination of culpability for the mis-use, simply pay back if you get asked.
      Since the Commonwealth DPP decides whether a charge laid by the AFP should proceed, as it did with Slipper for the few dollars of his alleged offence, it is difficult to imagine that Abbott should not face the same for his conduct. One might hope that the CDPP will look at this matter on its merits and apply the Commonwealth Prosecution Guide-Lines to Abbott as it did to Slipper.

      One might also ask when will the Auditor General wake up to the implications of the Minchin Protocol. There is a specific law covering audits of parliamentarians but it doesn’t seem to get much application to events covered by Minchin.

    • Spookpadda says

      Tony, Michelle Grattan’s state’s in today’s The Conversation article that the money incorrectly claimed by Tony Abbott was payed back by MUP (presumably Melbourne University Press – the publisher of Battlelines).

      • Joy Cooper says

        Did notice that, Spookpadda & wondered who or what MUP was. It does seem as though Michelle Grattan takes it for granted that they paid the amount owed by Tony Abbott for him. This is te quote from her article in today’s The Conversation – “The (book) promotion was before Abbott became leader, and the repayment was shouldered by MUP” – & she does sound very definite about that being the case.

        Sooooo, Tony Abbott probably never repaid the money out of his own pocket, unlike other MPs. Funny, I did think this was quite possibly what would have happened but wasn’t sure who actually paid up for him. Once again it seems he gets away with not having to take responsibility for his actions.

  28. J.Fraser says

    A lot of Woman commenting here.

    And with good cause.

    Congratulations to Bridie Jabour for sticking with the questioning of “Slick” Abbott.

    Margo may I suggest you take your iron next time you go to interview “Slick” Abbott.

    That way when he says “now calm down” you can smack the sexist, blue tie wearing misogynist right between the snake eyes.

    • Hear! Hear! J Fraser. I’m with you. “Calm down …”. Really? Smack the dude (on both sides of his head).

  29. John of North Lakes says

    My first time on this blog. Well written Margot, will now list you in my favourites.
    Interesting to see the contrast between the comments here & those on the “the Oz” blogs, particularly those of the zealots Chris Kenny Nikki Sava & Janet Albrechtsen. These “commentators” (aka LNP boosters) have only slavish praise for Mr Abbott & any contrary comments on their blogs are met with a furious barrage of hostile put downs by their loyal foot soldiers.

    I am no great fan of Mr Rudd or the Labor Party but the thought of Mr Abbott being PM just makes my skin crawl. The man is a bombastic self confessed liar, he lacks the courage to answer his critics (or any legitimate examination of his political ideals) and he cannot speak in a coherent manner. I despair of him representing our country on the world stage. He reminds me in many ways of the unfortunate, basically decent but decidedly un-statesman like George W Bush & look what he ended up doing to the image of his once great nation.

    The shame of it is that there are many talented, decent & well spoken people in the LNP who could be so much better as PM than Mr Abbott yet the party seems incapable of overcoming their blatant desire for power that they believe only Mr Abbott can deliver them. If only the LNP had the courage to replace Abbott with one of their many (but not Christopher Pyne, Greg Hunt or Scott Morrison please) members then I believe they would be pleasantly surprised at the trust that the electorate would place in their hands at the next election.

  30. What about his privately organised charity bike rides? Have any allowances been claimed for them as well?
    It may be a worthy cause but taxpayers should not be funding any private initiatives.

    • Joy Cooper says

      Apparently JohnMT, Abbott does seem to claim accommodation & travel expenses on the same dates as he is participating in charity bike rides & private fun runs, swims, bike rides, etc as well when allegedly driving trucks down the Pacific Highway.

  31. LeftyRoy says

    Margo and team
    Thanks for exposing this po-faced hypocrite for what he is.

  32. Funny, no mention of this in the NEWS LIMITED press ???

  33. Surely Gary Gray must have a good reason for passing up a golden opportunity when he chose to merely hit Abbott with a feather, no matter how hard. He must have been keeping his ammo dry for later. BTW speaking of faceless men, who in the citizenry could recognize Brian Lochnane in a crowd?

  34. How about explaining why Simon Crean
    & his wife are enjoying a taxpayer funded trip to Italy including tax payer funded cooking classes. Apparently it is a study trip, however, he has announced his retirement at the imminent election. What is he & his wife studying that will benefit the Labour Party or taxpayers & how will he implement all that he has learnt in Rome, Venice and Milan in the few months before he leaves parliament. ?

    • *Scratch. Scratch. Scratch* Hey Lou, did you find anything to substantiate those claims? Or are you just raking mud?
      Let us all know when you have actually some legitimate verifiable data. We’ll get all over that data with you.

      • Hi technibris so am I to understand that the info in today’s press is incorrect and in fact Simon Crean is not on a study tour in Italy at the moment. Thanks for clarifying.

      • Whether you like it or not Lou, this is one rort ALL politicians (Lib/Nat/ALP/Other?Ind) have in common. It is allowable under the parliamentary rules. I don’t like it but I’ll bet there’s more than one MP out there doing exactly the same thing.
        Using taxpayer funded allowances and staff for personal activities is not allowed. In case you missed the point, Abbott claimed 10 times the amount Slipper did and has got off scott free while Slipper is being pursued by the AFP. And Abbott made a big song and dance about it. The word hypocite comes to mind.

      • Oh, you doing the old “I will put words you never said in your mouth” trick. Very callous, deceptive and as transparent as policy from a Political Party.
        No, I will put this back on track for you, if your are going to start accusing anyone of anything, please have the decency to throw substantiated claims into the public arena and not unsubstantiated accusations in the hope of misleading or starting rumour to aid and abet a personal or political goal of yours.
        I would say this for any Politician, if your purpose is for the best interest’s of all Australians and not just some, then your report will show it. That’s if we get to be allowed to read it. If your goals are altruistic to the Electorate, then complete transparency and probity to the Australian Electorate should be nothing you would try to redirect any Australian from.
        Now what was the purpose of your statement and to what ends were you trying to achieve by it?

      • J.Fraser says


        This is what I have trouble with, and remember you will not see it in Murdoch’s Courier Mail.

        Tony Abbott ( )

        Prime Minister Julia Gillard ( )

        Have a look at P.M. Gillard’s “Office Facilities” ( $48,654.53 ) and “Office Administration Costs ($67,946.69) = Total Office costs $116,601.22 …. that’s for the Prime Minister of Australia.

        “Slick” Abbott’s “Office Facilities” ( $154,619.26 ) and “Office Administration Costs” ( $89,005.22) = Total Office costs $243,624.48 … for the Leader of the Opposition.

        And then there are Telecommunications : P.M. Gillard $7,911.39
        “Slick” Abbott $33,100.77

        How does “slick” Abbott come up with the excuse that its an office mistake that he claimed $10,000 in false claims when his office costs the taxpayer more than 2 times as much as the Prime Ministers Office ?

        Didn’t “Slick” Abbott talk to his office on the phone when he was racking up a bill 4 times bigger than the P.M.

      • Richard Miller says

        Look closely at the Dept. of Finance site above, for the first 6 months of 2012 Abbott claimed $9694.48 as ” Family” expenses covering domestic flights and Comcar.

      • Hypocrisy runs all through Politics today, no matter where you sit on the field. What you have submitted here is very valid. It supports the probity that is required in a Democracy in order to be transparent and accountable. Without it we would be easy prey to those of less than honourable intent towards the Australian Electorate. Thank you for a glowing example of Citizens standing up for their Democracy. I bow in respect. :{D
        Lou, see how it is done.

  35. Well said. Abbott is now the Coalition’s road block. His unelectability is thrown into full public view now that the ALP has dispensed with someone who was even more unelectabile and disrespected. Unbelievably, Rudd could just win this.

  36. Knew I saw it somewhere in the media. Federal shadow ministers clocking up a million dollars in expenses.

    And they aren’t even in parliament yet! Are they canvassing for votes?

  37. Pappinbarra Fox says

    That is a classic debating trick from a person who does not have a good argument – divert attention from the subject by pointing the finger elsewhere. Even if you succeeded it still does not make the original argument any the less cogent, dumbarse.

  38. I remember when there was a stink at the time, the defence was that he was doing official duties as well as promoting his book.

  39. TA says he will take responsibility for the refugees when he is “turning back the boats”. He should/must take responsibility for this as well.

    I somehow suspect that the ALP are not happy this has come out. I somehow think they were sitting on this and waiting for the “right time”

  40. @Tony of Poorakistan, you dont happen to wear budgie smugglers and ride a bike do you?

  41. Margo, you and Bridie Jabour have done far more than expose Tony Abbott’s travel rorts with this story.

    You’ve exposed a very serious failure of the mainstream media – including the ABC – to report upon critical matters of public interest without bias or prejudice.

    It is often said that a free media is an essential element of a true democracy; however, what this matter has clearly and shamelessly highlighted is the fact that the censorship taking place in Australia today is being perpetrated by the corporations and the political party in opposition that it owns, not by a government holding the executive power of the constitutuion.

    It is also noted that a vicious campaign has already begun against Ms Jabour. The vile instigators of this hate must be exposed and held accountable for their malice.

    • Skuze Me says

      It looks like Margot’s and Bridie’s efforts are starting to come to fruition. The mainstream media in the form of Fairfax have today (10/7) released a video interview on their website between Tim Lester and Jonathan Swan in which Jonathan explains to Tim that independent media is starting to gain some weight in it’s call for action on Abbott’s indiscretions. A voice for the people has even old-media now starting to prick up their ears! Check it out!

      • Skuze Me –

        Thank you; yes, I did see that video clip and Swan’s story, but I believe it’s too little, too late.

        I also note they discuss Ashbygate, but only in terms of the people pursuing the investigation, not any of the matters under investigation. Which is where and why they’ve failed.

        While these so-called “professional” journalists were busy slapping each other on the back and circle-jerking in seedy bars, Margot showed them what professional investigative journalists who are worthy of the definition really do.

        Then Bridie asked the questions neither Lester nor Swan dared to ask – and caught Abbott in a web of lies.

        The Lester / Swan video is a rather sad attempt to save face and make excuses for the MSM failing to do its democratic duty.

  42. In reply to Pappinbarra Fox, How unfortunate in your comments you feel it is okay to call someone a dumbarse for pointing out the ridiculousness of a study trip when Simon Crean is retiring anyway. I am making the point that wasting taxpayers money just goes on and on and on. I did not expect the viciousness of the replies but our federal politicians have denigrated politics to such a point, the electorate on both sides have no patience or common decency for ideas or debate I think the issue with Slipper was made worse by his vulgar words/texts and came at a time of the sordid CraigThompson affair, as well as the former prime ministers misogyny speech which didn’t add up when talking about Slipper.

    • LOL. Oh Lou. Your ship has a dreadful list to the right there.
      I am no fan of Crean, but I don’t have that vitriolic grudge you seem to bear towards anything that is not hard up against the wall on the far right of the room.
      The guy is still a Member of our Parliament, just as are many members of the Coalition. Till this Parliament is done, he can deliver the report. He can even probably lodge it for the next Parliament to utilise if they wish.
      Yes some of Slippers language was vulgar in the texts. So what. Do we garrotte people for that now? No, we investigate more than that and it is put before our Legal systems with a bit more foresight and detail than you obviously do. Thank goodness we do, as the Judge did what was correct. Imagine the injustice if you were judging everyone. Half of us would probably end up dead or doing hard labour in a Coal Mine.
      As to the Craig Thompson affair, who assigned you Judge, Jury and Executioner, instead of our Legal Justice System. Learn some respect for your fellow Australians please. Better still, cease making a fool of yourself. It is embarrassing us all.

  43. it’s not the amount of money that was going to be ripped off, it’s not the double standards given Abbott’s relentless pursuit of Slipper for a relatively trivial amount it’s the Nixonian deny deny deny until caught syndrome that should worry anyone considering a vote for the coalition

  44. Has Tony “stopped the waste”..I don’t think so! For any who haven’t seen it,this is worth a squiz..

  45. Will Abbott be charged interest on the money he stole. Some of these rorts go back a way!