EXCLUSIVE: Abbott forced to repay $9,400 he charged taxpayers to promote his book


By Margo Kingston

6 July, 2013

The Opposition leader, Mr Abbott, was forced to repay taxpayers nearly $9,400 after receiving travel expenses to promote his book Battlelines in 2009.

The repayment occurred after Mr Abbott publicly denied the allegation through a spokesman, who stated:

“All travel undertaken by Mr Abbott has been within the entitlement. This is a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead.”

Mr Glenn Milne raised the matter in an article in The Drum on 28 July, 2010 in which he calculated that Mr Abbott had ripped $6,651.96 off taxpayers for private expenses he incurred in promoting his book:

“At the very least these expenses are politically awkward. Was he also doing government business in the places where he promoted his book? Even if he was, is it appropriate to plug your book while you’re there when taxpayers are paying the travel bill? Remember the savage gusto with which the Opposition, Abbott included, went after Kevin Rudd and former defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon over claims they had not properly declared privately sponsored air fares to China.”

Documents obtained by No Fibs using Right To Know to utilise Freedom of Information laws show that in response to the article, the Finance Department wrote to Mr Abbott on 19 August, 2010 under the Minchin Protocol – which allows MPs to repay false claims to avoid being referred to the AFP – requiring him to justify his Battlelines claims.

In reply, Mr Abbott’s chief of staff, Ms Credlin agreed to repay $6255.49 for flights “inadvertently booked for official travel rather than private”.

But on 10 January 2011 the Special Minister of State, Mr Gray, wrote to Mr Abbott confirming that he had failed to reimburse other claims for non-flight Battlelines expenses, including the use of Comcars, and had repaid another $3,141.93.

Mr Gray said that “given the repayments made I do not intend to take further action” but that Mr Abbott should not make such claims again and desist from requiring taxpayer-funded staff to work on his private business.

It appears that Mr Abbott has not corrected the public record.

The treatment of Mr Abbott is in stark contrast to that of Mr Slipper, who has been charged with wrongly claiming $900 in travel allowance in 2010. Mr Slipper offered to repay the $900 when the matter was raised last year, but was told by the Finance Department that the Minchin Protocol did not apply because the matter had been directly referred to police by a person who remains a mystery.

It thus appears that under the new ‘Slipper exception’ to the Minchin Protocol, someone could have referred The Drum article to the AFP upon its publication, thus negating the operation of the Protocol.

Mr Abbott’s extremely high expenses claims have been the subject of comment  as has the fact that he claims travel allowance for his ‘volunteer’ activities.

Dept of Finance letter to Mr Tony Abbott – 19 August 2010

Peta Credlin letter to Dept of Finance – 29 October 2010

Gary Gray Special Minister of State letter to Mr Abbott – 10 January 2011

Read More:

Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning
The Minchin Protocol, Peter Slipper and Tony Abbot
The Peter Reith Telecard Affair
Questions for Mr Abbott on the Ashby Affair

Rolling Updates

#BattleRort News finally reported by SMH
MSM delay & total time elapsed


Update 8 July 2013

Guardian Australia: Tony Abbott denies wrongly claiming expenses from 2009 book tour


Update 9 July 2013

Courier Mail: Newman Government’s move to block public service pay rise while granting one for MPs smacks of hypocrisy

ABC News story with errors: Tony Abbott blames Labor dirt campaign for questions over expenses

Margo Kingston: Abbott’s #Battlerort lines collapse under @bkjabour questioning

Guardian Australia:
Tony Abbott tells Guardian Australia journalist to calm down

Updare 10 July 2013

Social Media Reaction:

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  1. How do I find out if Abbott claimed expenses while supposedly firefighting in Nowra earlier this year

    There is something very dodgy about what he was doing down there and how long he was with his firefighting crew.

    Reliable sources in the RFB say he left soon after the media interest in him died down and returned to his home in Sydney.

    • @Doug: Theres a certain amount of money that can be used for campaiging permitted for elected candidates. As frusturating as that is, its the rules. This however involves promoting a commercial product that he stands to make a profit from. Thats a very different kettle of fish.

      • Denise Allen says

        He wasn’t campaigning though. He was supposedly fighting fires. Apparently just so happens it was in joanna gash’s electorate and apparently he just stood around drinking coffee.

    • Good questions Doug

    • Tony Gurnett says

      He wouldn’t endanger himself…if it were a woman, well, now that’s different…swing away Mad Monk?

  2. I would think this is just the ” tip of the ice-berg” Tony Abbott is exactly whom I judged him to be and it’s not pretty

  3. So is anyone referring this to the AFP? Brandis for instance; he likes writing letters.

  4. Noelle Kebby says

    Once again Margo a first class expose on this dreadful excuse for an alternate Prime Minister. Just wonder whether the so-called MSM will pick up on this. Will be interesting to watch. Please keep up this excellent work.

  5. and yet Peter Slipper is on charges for similar ? Are our AFP completely corrupt?

    • How about Tony Burke and his $7000 or Gillard and her misuse of taxu vouchers??
      Are the AFP after them

  6. some of those dates are wrong – you have 2013 (on 3 letters) I think 2 are 2010 & Gary Grays is Jan 2011

  7. I’m confused is this fair dinkum? Dates being shown on letters are in the future
    Dept of Finance letter to Mr Tony Abbott – 19 August 2013
    Peta Credlin letter to Dept of Finance – 29 October 2013
    Gary Gray Special Minister of State letter to Mr Abbott – 10/11/2013

    Sorry don’t follow, have only had one beer, I must have lost my capacity.


    • Sorry dates in text above were wrong. Have been fixed. Enjoy your second beer :)

      • Amused Qld says

        So can we assume that you have not changed any other text to embellish your ‘story’

      • Your skepticism is unwarranted. Look at the evidence provided. The text states nothing that cant be substantiated, except the dates which the author promptly corrected.

    • I wouldn’t worry about the dates in the headings – look at the dates on the actual letters, they are the correct ones to look at. (Although the dates in the headings have now been corrected)

  8. celerytop says

    Never wish to see this lame excuse for a human as PM of this country, but for the record, Peta Credlin’s letter is clearly dated 29 October 2010 & Gary Gray’s letter looks to be dated 10 January 2011. My calendar, which I presume is the same one everyone else uses, hasn’t ticked over to either 29 October 2013 or 10/11/2013 yet.

  9. Firstly the captions Letter to … August 2013 – er – few months off yet…Correct that please. Of course Abbot is crooked – “Ok I lied” and “Don’t believe anything I say if it’s not in writing” come to mind…although even “in writing” seems a stretch too far now for this shyster.

  10. Margo should someone then refer Tony Abbott’s charity travel allowances to the AFP for investigation?

  11. dates correct now

    • Thanks my sanity returns, a big thankyou for this wonderful tracking and bringing to light Abbott once again stealing from the public purse and being found out.
      I have asked PM Rudd to investigate Abbotts office expenses of over 1 million dollars for a 12 month period, it is frankly obscene

  12. People usually get sacked for falsifying Spending returns to their employers.

  13. Anyone can be an informant.

    CRIMES ACT 1914 – SECT 13
    Institution of proceedings in respect of offences

    Unless the contrary intention appears in the Act or regulation creating the offence, any person may:

    (a) institute proceedings for the commitment for trial of any person in respect of any indictable offence against the law of the Commonwealth; or

    (b) institute proceedings for the summary conviction of any person in respect of any offence against the law of the Commonwealth punishable on summary conviction.

    (source: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/C1914A00012)

    As The Ashbygate Trust has shown, sometimes the public get sick of hearing excuses for things not being done.

    Who wants to prepare a prosecution for this prick? I would be happy to assist.

  14. So who referred Slipper to the AFP when he had already offered to pay the money back? George Brandis of course.

    Thanks Margo, now to go after Abbott for the thousands in travel allowance he has claimed for his so-called charity rides.

    One does have to wonder though what would motivate the DPP to make a charge against such a tiny amount of money over 24 years in parliament.

  15. So where is the front page story in the MSM?

  16. Top work Tony & Margo about time abbott had the light shone on him

  17. Avis Williamson says

    Bless you for exposing this crime. May your fortunes grow

  18. Hope? Reward? Opportunist.

  19. Best we be going through all of Rudds expenses over the past seven years then? Especially if his wife was paid for at public expense and had a meeting relating to her business ventures! She only had to have a 30 min meeting to be ineligible for public travel..,

    • you can bet the Libs have already done exactly that

    • Dont forget that Therese Rudd sold her interest in the business that would have conflicted with Rudd’s responsibilities as PM. In other words, she did the right thing without having to be chased about it down the track.

  20. Be careful what you dig, you may also find that certain members of the gov’t have made certain repayments….

    • As long as it is an even playing field, one rule for everyone, I have no problem. As has been exposed, that is not the case in Peter Slippers case. What is also disturbing is the intensity of the Feds charging of Mr Slipper and the reasons behind their action. Who referred him to the AFP with such speed as to prohibit him repaying the $900 as he was willing to do? Suspect is obvious who, but of course the Feds say nothing.
      Doesn’t appear to be a level field to me.

    • joy cooper says

      Maybe so Andy. The point here is that Tony Abbott & his office knowingly made claims for expenses which were incurred when not on official business but while conducting private business. When initially challenged about this a public denial was issued stating that all was wiithin his entitlements & it was a Labor attempt to smear & mislead. Only much later did they, eventually, repay the two outstanding amounts. Strangely, not a word of this was mentioned in the mainstream media. Odd that.

      • I doubt they were ‘knowing’, joe. I am confidant whomever was handling Abbot’s schedule was informed he needed to be at those events and they, without knowing the purpose, made the travel arrangements. The discrepancy was discovered and amended according to parliamentary process – whether that is fair or not is a matter for our legislators.
        Abbot would probably have been unaware the travel was inappropriately claimed as he would not have made the booking. I can’t imagine him, or any senior member of opposition or government, to be looking through flights.com, can you? Never mind the fact that arrangements for security would have needed to be made as well during those travel periods.
        No, if Abbot had really wanted to be making money he wouldn’t be in politics. If, as some are certain, he’s the spawn of satan and wants to embezzle money whilst in office, he’d be better off taking a leaf out of Eddie Obeid book and cozying up to developers. To ‘knowingly’ make claims for expenses totalling $9k? Give me a break.

      • Joy Cooper says

        John2, of course they all knew it wasn’t official business, even Abbott. Nonetheless claims were made, from the taxpayer, for all of his expenses incurred during the book’s promotion tour, even down to using ComCars for his land travel.

        Michelle Grattan has stated that the repayments would have been made by the book’s publisher MUP which means Abbott didn’t even repay the taxpayer out of his own pocket. If so this is an even more egregious state of affairs.

      • My earlier question about who actually repaid the money assumed that it wasn’t Abbott. Michelle Grattan says that MUP repaid the money and given they were the publishers and Abbott was promoting the book, I don’t even have a problem with that.

        My problem and the question Abbott (or Brandis) has to answer is, “Why should Slipper’s oversight for $1,000 be treated any differently from your oversight of $10,000?”

        The fact that plenty of politicians from both sides have abused the processes by either oversight, negligence or theft and have repaid the money with no other action, changes nothing.

        Tony, just answer the question. “Why should Slipper be treated differently from the rest of you?”

      • As all politicians are required to personally sign the claim form as verification that it is a legal and valid claim, irrespective of who actually prepared the claim, Abbott would have been aware that an incorrect claim was made at the time of submission. Basically Abbott signed a false declaration, lied bout it when challenged in the media two years ago, allowed his publisher to repay the $6000+ debt, presumably keeping the monies he had already received, and then had to pay the additional amount for incorrect usage of the CommCar service for $3000+ only after it was brought to his attention. Why didn’t he repay it immediately once the first amount was found to be personal. He then lied about it again this week and tried to put the blame on his staff. Did he declare the payment by his publisher to the ATO when he prepared his tax return. So, yes, he knew full well he had made a claim from the tax payers for his personal interests.

    • Fine by me

      Lets instigate a full and open review of all travel and associated expenses claimed by all federal politicians and see what it turns up

      I would support that 100%

    • Oh the irony. Are you aware that there are people who don’t live their lives in a partisan fervor? Is it even possible in your conceptualization of the world that some people care more about a just and functioning society than they do about whose team wins?

      Please, let’s make it all public so the public can decide…

  21. orangefox says

    This is very interesting but we shall see if the government take advantage of it.
    Unfortunately I think there is a certain amount of horse trading among pollies to keep unflattering information from surfacing.
    Where’s the needed Royal Commission into the Iraq issue? That would flatten the current opposition lineup for good.

  22. so if the Minchin protocol is not a legislated law, can this still be referred to the AFP to be investigated, even thou the money has been repaid it is still a criminal offense? Who can refer it to the AFP?

  23. Let’s call a spade a spade. If this is true it is not just an ‘oversight’ or the like. It is theft, pure and simple. Using monies not allotted to you for your own purposes wilfully is theft. This should be investigated whether perpetrated by Liberal, Labor, Green or Independent. The Liberals are very good at making a lot of noise when others are accused of similar activities but strangely quiet when the light is shone on them. And where is the Press when you need them? Pathetic.

  24. Tony Abbott is a dedicated volunteer fire fighter who freely donates his valuable time to the cause. He should not be criticised like a common criminal because he chooses to volunteer his time to help the community. Mr. Abbott is a busy man. He works very hard and is capable of doing two things at once. It is hypocritical to categorize Mr. Abbott’s volunteer work in the same light as Mr. Slipper’s offensive, sexist, misogynistic rampages.

    • Frank nothing to do with his firefighting unless of course he is claiming a wage & expenses for that as well as his pollie pedal charity rides since 2007 ..

      Abbott rorted $9400 of tax payer dollars in expenses for his personal book tour for him and staff , Slipper was claiming $900 of travel expenses that he wasn’t allowed , Abbott was allowed to pay back 9 x the amount of Slippers that he wasn’t allowed.. Abbott also never had police / courts called on him..

      Abbott also claimed $2875 for 2011 pollie pedal in expenses as noted on the IA article , He has been doing this charity ride since 2007, so i wonder just how many other claims he has made ..

      The we have Abbott’s Office Admin expenses being 4 or 5 x that of the PM ..

      Think Abbott needs to be audited

      • joy cooper says

        Very true, z3n.

        The other thing about the Peter Slipper’s claims, for which he is being prosecuted, is that they relate to an obscure rule about the use of Cabcharge cards within & around the ACT, which he is claimed to have dishonestly used in 2010. There is, apparently, an arbitrary line, which he says he knew nothing about, where you could not travel across using these cards. Stupid. Plus he offered to repay the charges but this was not allowed. Why??

        Abbott & his staff would have known that his claims were not legit but they made them all the same, then compounded this by denying he had wrongly claimed for these expenses. A Labor beat up & smear campaign they called it. Pfft!!

      • Double Standards and we wonder why

    • Frank
      but this wasn’t while he was doing volunteer work, it was while he was promoting his book

    • Skuze Me says

      Yes Frank, capable of doing two things at once, ie ripping off the public purse whilst pulling the wool over the eyes of blinkered individuals like yourself aided and abetted by the MSM. Wake up Frank!!

    • What rampages Frank, the ones the court found didn’t actually exist? HOw about if you want to comment you follow the whole story? Slipper was charged with taking taxis to wineries in Queenbeyan, nothing else.

    • J.Fraser says

      Dear “Frank MacGill”,

      “Slick” Abbott is a complete lunatic who thinks Australian law and the law of the sea does not apply to him.

      I humbly suggest you, Murdoch and “Slick” Abbott get down on your knees and pray with Pell.

    • J.Fraser says

      Dear “Frank MacGill”,

      Hitler built the autobahn.

      Try not to use that bucket again … its got lots of holes in it.

  25. Tony Abbott, by paying up, is admitting deliberate corruption (or complete unethical stupidness), and should be taken to the cleaners. Magnifcent work Margo

  26. Great work Margot!

  27. Grace Leigh says

    And what about all those bike rides? I have been informed that he claimed allowances for those as well.

  28. misappropriated funds.. he should be charged!! i know i would be if i did that!!

  29. mic deutz says

    Yes naughty of him, no question.

    So, in the interests of balance I’m looking for the article on the AWU scandal.
    You know, something really meaty, millions of dollars in stolen union funds.

    Or maybe hundreds of millions … like this:

    Instead I find gushing Julia pieces. Will you attempt credibility?

    • Uh… are you sure you weren’t trying to find something to blame on the government?

      No, seriously… i want to know how self aware you are.

      The article claims the money was ‘wasted’ because it was mishandled by charities and the ADF and because buildings and services were blacklisted by the Taliban or undermined by poor handling locally. It is difficult to attribute blame to the Australian Government has you have obliquely insinuated without presuming they’re supposed to be prescient.

      Your inability to find credibility here may not actually be the fault of the author.

  30. People do not report the media to the acma

    thats why the media gets away with it

    • I have reported the media to ACMA and the Press council on numerous occasions

      The system is totally hopeless, you wait months for a reply, you get tied up in processes and delays, you have to nag them to do anything, then finally if your complaint is upheld they slap the company with a wet lettuce leaf as punishment

      We need media laws that actually impose penalties that make companies print the facts

      • I agree with your comment

        the media need to be forced to follow their own code of ethics

        which they are deliberately ignoring

  31. If you want to lock Mr Abbott up for $9,400 I presume you are happy for Rudd and Gillard to be thrown in chains for the $200 billion of our cash they flushed down the pan over the last 5 years. I know I would be.

    • I suggest you send this to the AFP and see how seriously they take your allegation

      There is actually a difference between running a country and rorting travel expenses

      Do you morons even stop to think before writing this utter crap ?

    • joy cooper says

      Are you really that stupid, harrywonabagel? The one who really flushed taxpayers’ money down the toilet was Abbott’s hero Howard. Making the taxpayer cover his brother’s company’s lack of funds to pay for his employees’ entitlements comes to mind just for starters.

      Are you a sock puppet or a shill perhaps because no one would make such a naive dopey statement unless they were.

    • Fancy spending taxpayers money on taxpayers hey harry? You know teensy things like keeping pensions paid so people don’t starve, keeping funding to schools so kids can be educated and helping to create jobs building lovely useful things like the NBN.

      Honestly, who are you people.

    • A recent report for the IMF found the Liberals were the most wasteful government Australia has had in its 200-year history.


    • Spindoctor says

      Harry – get real and don’t how your ignorance

  32. Geoffrey Payne says

    Excellent piece, thank you.
    So, MP Gary Gray is responsible for TAbbott receiving a dream run in this tawdry affair. Another example of the Labor party being totally inept at Politics.
    Why was TAbbottt not reported to Federal Police, this respect for your opponent has to stop. KRudd has to get serious and take these Liberal scalps when presented with them and conventions can be damned after all it IS politics.
    This is what was missing from Gillards leadership. no mongrel, the nice person does not win in this game and Australians are the ones that will suffer.
    Numerous complaints should have been made to the AFP, even now would be a good time despite MP Gary Grays assurances, I suspect many Labor MPs have Liberal sympathies which augurs badly for ordinary Australians. (why else ignore the seriousness of the matter)
    Whether the AFP would investigate a complaint is another matter but heads should roll in that area.
    KRudds & the Labor party have to get serious and attack the drunkenness and Public fund misappropriation from the Liberal party and follow up with the necessary reporting to Federal Authorities for the good of Australia and Australians.

  33. Dan Rowden says

    I’m confused about something: why do we not know the circumstances around how Slipper’s referral to the AFP happened and by whose hand? Wasn’t it simply a consequence of Ashby’s case? And why wouldn’t the AFP simply refer it back to the Dept of Finance assuming they possess the discretionary power to do so and would be fully aware of the normal protocols for such cases? Or was the fact of the referral itself enough to get the DoF out of the picture?

  34. Its in the Liberal DNA, for anyone old enough to remember…Trish Draper

    • Trish Draper in 2000 rorted $10,000 from Govt on travel expenses (Study Tour) for her and her boyfriend , Eric Abetz was in charge of this area and approved it for her .. she got caught out in 2004

  35. Oh right…how about taking an equally close look at the expense accounts of Kevin Rudd – money he used to undermine a Prime Minister, money he has not paid back, money he used to strut the international stage even though he was merely a back bencher at the time… no, of course you don’t want to do that.
    What’s the difference? Tony Abbott has repaid the money…and multi-millionaire Kevin Rudd is milking the taxpayer for all he can.
    This sort of article is so obviously one-sided and out to damage the leader of the Coalition that it is hard to take it seriously.
    If you want to be taken seriously write a more balanced article please.

    • But Rudd has not claimed anything he was not entitled to so what is your point?

  36. FEDERAL Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper clocked up almost $30,000 in taxi fares over 14 months, among a raft of claims that made him the state’s most expensive politician after former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
    New figures reveal that Mr Slipper’s expenses bill for the six months to the end of 2009 was $640,562 – above Treasurer Wayne Swan’s $491,236 and second only to Mr Rudd’s $1.18 million.
    The LNP’s Member for Fisher – who was photographed while apparently asleep in Parliament earlier this year – racked up $16,038 in taxi fares from July to December of 2009 (the latest figures available for parliamentarians’ expenses). His taxi bill came on top of $3000 for chauffeured cars and $10,000 for government cars, with his vehicle expenses totalling $41,483.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/member-for-fisher-peter-slipper-clocks-up-640000-in-mp-expenses/story-e6frfkp9-1225902504533#ixzz2YKol5e8A

    • ah' ah 'ah 'ah ah 'ah I misspoke says

      A bit late but your figures are a trifle sensationalist. They include everything included to run the electorate. A bit like Thomson’s supposed fraud bill of $800k which now finds itself at the princely sum of $26k over I think 6 or 7 years.

  37. Tailgator says

    In the third document linked to in the article it appears that Ms Credlin has attempted to apportion blame for the ‘oversight’ on an individual no longer employed in the office. Who was the individual and how do they feel about being blamed for the error?
    Or are they simply a scapegoat, either real or imaginary, to cover Abbott’s attempts to make inappropriate claims?

  38. Fred Blogs says

    Re Mr Abbott’s love of cycling. some years ago there was a magazine article about him and cycling, with a picture of him on a very expensive bicycle – several thousands of dollars worth. Mr Abbott indicated in that article that the bicycle was given to him by a bike shop. I could find no evidence that he ever declared this bicycle. This sort of thing is in his blood.

    • Not to mention the taxpayer funded cycling buddy from his staff who shadowed him

  39. Enjoying the irony of Liberal s*ckholes posting on a site called NO FIBS!

  40. Great work Margo. Let’s watch the media try to skirt around this one.

  41. Laurie Forde says

    The fact that Abbott hasn’t been seriously challenged about this attempted ripoff of taxpayers money exposes the low, unethical quality of current Australian journalism.
    When are journalists going to begin acting as professionals rather than dancing to the tune of whoever is paying their salary.
    That is propaganda, not journalism.
    We are supposed top be a Democracy, not a Murdochracy.

  42. Great stuff Margo. I’ve tried to learn to tweet but social media is beyond me. Here are some of Tony “Travel Allowance” Abbott’s other claims from his Parliamentary Entitlements Reports matched to media reports of his activity at the time.

    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.

    • Tony Gurnett says

      Abbott never having worked a day in his life is a lot like business, always getting taxable deductions for all their production…capitalism?

  43. Actually campaigning is not an acceptable expense to claim while performing duties as an MP. You’re wrong mate.

  44. This smells. lf the `repayment-collectors` leak to one side that somebody on the `other-side` over-claimed, they can be dropped in the crap with the AFP, instead of just repaying the claim error.

  45. Exclusive,

    Margo uses public funding from a mate at Macquarie Uni to peddle her Howard diatribe

    news at 11

  46. Laurie Forde says

    It is beginning to look more and more as though some high ranking officers
    and others in the AFP are corrupt.

    I cannot believe that a properly operating AFP could not do more to prevent
    asylum seekers boarding boats in Indonesia. It defies belief that they are
    so ineffective.

    Add to this the fact that the AFP brought charges against Peter Slipper over
    $900 in travelling allowances, while Tony Abbott is allowed to repay $9400
    in improperly claimed TA when he was promoting his book, “Battle Lines” and
    a picture emerges that puts the AFP firmly onside with Coalition political

    The case of the apparent victimisation of Sgt Brendan Thomson by superior
    officers over asylum seeker policies is definitely on the nose.

    There is a definite whiff of conspiracy in the air and the unmistakable
    smell of rats in AFP uniforms.

  47. Brunswickian says

    Hi Margo
    When Justice Rares handed down his Ashby v Slipper decision, Abbott was in London apparently doing “important work for Australia”
    Work that was so important that he had not had time to read Rares’ findings.
    The nature of this work has never been revealed although we do know that he met with other like minded conservative politicians and organisations.
    As your article shows he has form in this area. How can this be referred to the AFP for further investigation?

    • Lie Bruin says

      The 7:30 Report had caught up with Tony Abbott on a cold evening in London the day after the judgement. 7:30 gave Tony Abbott enough time to castigate Julia Gillard , followed up by a track back to Sydney with Joe Hockey backing him up. No questions asked about the damning judgement. I laid a complaint about bias. It was dismissed by the ABC on the grounds that there had been a report the day before. I have laid another complaint today because of the unbalance between the reporting of the Slipper cab charges (down to the minutia of consulting with an unnamed handwriting expert) and nothing yet on the ABC about Mr Abbott repaying his misappropriated travel expenses. Perhaps the ABC is scared of what an Abbott government will do to the ABC. We all know that Mr Abbott’s biggest backer is Rupert Murdoch, and Rupert wants to get rid of the ABC. With Abbott we will lose our democracy to a Murdochracy.

      • Brunswickian says

        Onya LB
        You would have thought at least one journalist somewhere out there in MSM/ABC land would have the guts to pursue this story particularly since Justice Rares has already done most of the legwork.

    • Laurie Forde says

      Can No Fibs refer Abbott’s trips to the AFP?

  48. Brunswickian says


    Abbott was in London at the time.

  49. Margie and I know what its like to run out of money by the end of the month..

  50. And all you people here have lived a life of absolute pureness I assume?
    Anyone here ever done a ‘Cashie’?? Isn’t that tax evasion…..?
    Mr Abbott is a very busy man and has staff to oversee the expenses.The money has been paid back.
    Move on people:)
    P.S.(I wonder if Craig Thomson had staff to sign his union credit card for him)??.

    • No Steve, I have NEVER done a “cashie” nor claimed work expenses that I did not incur for work purposes. Perhaps, you may fiddle with your tax returns but I never have. So speak for yourself.

      Tony Abbott has ample staff to enable CORRECT claims to be made on his behalf. It is interesting to note that an ex-employee is now being blamed for these incorrect claims. This is just the tip of a very large iceberg for Abbott it would seem.

      As for your dismissive ‘move on’ crap, we are talking about a man who desperately wants to be our next PM & he must be seen to be of good character.

      Re your snide remark about Craig Thomson, apparently someone signed a credit receipt “Craig Thompson” which would not be his signature.

      • Well looks like your bound to go to heaven then joy.
        You would be the first human being in history that has never told a lie……Well done.

      • Joy Cooper says

        Steve, how dare you sneer at me in such a sarcastic manner!!! Strange though it may be to someone like yourself but not everyone lies. You are a prick of the lowest kind insinuating I do & no, I have never deliberately told a lie unless someone asks me do they “look good in this?”.Then I may have to change the subject.

        Not all of us are like Abbott, or perhaps yourself, who can lie easily & glibly without any twinge of conscience. Typical nauseating supercilious Liberal.. Pshaw.

        PS It isn’t “your bound” it is “you’re bound”.

      • Quote:not everyone lies….And pigs fly and Santa Claus is real too Joy.Your a rusted on Labor supporter,no doubt about it.
        P.S. Sorry about the spelling error.I’m human:)

      • Joy Cooper says

        Stop tarring everyone with your own judgemental brush, Steve. No, not everyone lies. You may, Abbott definitely does, but that is not everyone.

    • Laurie Forde says

      Abbott is looking more and more like a run-of- the- mill con artist, promoting himself at taxpayer expense.
      People say he is very mean with money, and I have learned over the years in business that you never trust anyone who is too keen on moolah.
      Here’s another three word slogan, “Don’t trust Tony”

    • What does Craig Thomson and the union card have to do with Tony Abbott using our money to peddle his book?

  51. We should not be surprised that different standards were applied to Slipper and Abbott. It seems that the most powerful motivation driving some of our politicians is vengeance. That alleged bastion of free speech, the Liberal Party, claims to be a broad church and to tolerate dissent within its ranks. But step too far out of line and their viciousness, their unbridled nastiness, makes even the Labor Party look tame.

    They just have to apply the well-polished LNP bullying technique …
    * Identify the victim for your vengeance.
    * Concoct a story: your own past actions can provide the inspiration.
    * Get your media mates to run disgusting front page slurs, day after day. Full page is best. Be sure they photoshop the pictures for greatest effect.
    * Supply unlimited funding to facilitate vexatious claims. Even if you don’t win you may as well drive the victim to bankruptcy.
    * Apply a different and more onerous set of rules and standards to your victim than you do for yourself and your mates. After all your victim is certainly not “one of us”. No “mates rules” for them.
    * If you don’t get a result you want, or get caught yourself, get you media mates to bury it. If they must publish, perhaps just a small ambiguous statement on page 17. Tell anybody who keeps asking: “we’ve moved on from that”.

    Sadly, such double standards and double dealing are corrupting our political processes. The Department of Finance, DPP and AFP might all think they are playing things by the book. But they are the ones who have been played. Manipulative people with vengeance in their hearts are pulling their strings.

  52. J.Fraser says

    Just keep pushing this putrid mess of Abbott’s under the nose of the MSM.

    At every opportunity.

  53. Adrianna says

    How do you find out who is funding all these court cases against Slipper? How can we find out the sources of Mal Brough’s well resourced publicity?

  54. Interesting,
    we start off with a fairly straight forward article about a confesses misuse of public funds and end up travelling all over Australia picking idiocy from the air on matters that have absolutely nothing to do with the offence.

    Yes I said OFFENCE, its misuse of public money for personal gain, thus its its a breach of law. Or illegal, or stealing, or thieving in short its a willful illegal act to rort money for personal gain by a man that wants to run Australia.

    Its misuse of public money, with an admission, with a paragraph from Peta Credlin admitting they booked travel purely for the Battlelines launch.

    Simply ask this, could Tony Abbott when booking a publicity trip for his own non government non work related book in any way shape or form conclude this wasn’t a personal trip for the benefit of his own personal financial gain.
    And if so who if being honest with themselves believes this was anything but a deliberate fraud to grab some cash for himself?.

    So wheres his prosecution?

    Peter Slipper has been gutted for far less, so wheres the AFP with fair and equal treatment of accused persons under Law?

    Stay on topic people, there’s plenty of other places to argue about the dozens of non related topics listed here, go to the correct forum and do it, because you just murder discussion doing it like this.

  55. I have passed on this info for atention to Andrew Bolt who was so adamant that Slipper should be prosecuted

    Not holding my breath

  56. I’d be interested to know who actually repaid the money. Was it from Tony’s account, the Liberal Party’s account or has he found another pro bono benefactor like the one who is providing legal representation in his stoush with Pauline’s old mates?

    • Tony of Poorakistan says

      I’m glad you brought that up. Whilst there could be some excuse for an Abbott staffer to prepare a claim for travel expenses if there was any official work done on the trip, it was Abbott himself who put together the lynch mob which eventually had Pauline Hanson arrested and jailed. Where’s the investigation concerning his involvement in this shameful episode? – the charges were eventually quashed but should never have been laid. They only existed thanks to Abbott.

      By the way, where are the guidelines for what percentage makes a trip ‘official’ or is it automatically ‘unofficial’ if you do any private business or have lunch with a mate?

  57. shadreck says

    Well done Margo!

  58. Riddley Walker says

    Thanks Margo – excellent article and site, doing the real journalism people have been requesting for years. I will definitely pass on to my friends.

  59. EMBATTLED MP Peter Slipper, who is under investigation over his latest expense claims, has had to pay back more than $15,000 to the Department of Finance after previous claims were ruled invalid.

    A Freedom of Information request by the Sunshine Coast Daily has identified that Mr Slipper was required to return money relating to 17 incidences of over-claiming in the 10 years from October, 1999, to October, last year.’

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/…artment/673826/ Dared 2 Nov 2010


  60. Lie Bruin says

    The story has been reported by the ABC about 38 minutes ago http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-09/tony-abbott-says-labor-dirt-campaign-behind-questions-over-expe/4808492
    Will the ABC do any investigating given that the Slipper cab charges were so extensively covered – even the opinion of a hand writing expert was given.

  61. Excellent journalism, well done Margo Kingston. This is about 10 times what Slipper allegedly rorted. Let’s see if this story flies in the mainstream media at all.

  62. Transcript of the media conference today where Abbott is questioned on the matter by Bridie Jabour of The Guardian:

    BRIDIE JABOUR: Mr Abbott, why did you say yesterday that you hadn’t incorrectly claimed those travel expenses?

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

    BRIDIE JABOUR: You’ve just repeated your line over and over again so you haven’t answered any questions…

    TONY ABBOTT: Calm down. Gary Gray looked at this matter two years ago. He said there’s nothing to see here. Okay? Next question? Anyone?

    BRIDIE JABOUR: Do you take responsibility for the incorrect claim of nine thousand dollars?

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

    BRIDIE JABOUR: No, there were expenses: Gary Gray wrote back after you’d repaid the intial six thousand dollars and said there were travel expenses paid as claims, such as Comcars…

    TONY ABBOTT: Ah, okay. Are there any other questions?

    [Another journalist asks about the Labor Party reforms]

  63. Denise Allen says

    I want to know who reported Slipper to finance department. Brandis?

  64. 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. ?

    • Dan Rowden says

      It’s dodgy as hell; we all know that. However members on both side of the parliament that are retiring at this election are indulging themselves in this manner. They do it because they can. Simple as that.

  65. How hard should Abbott be pursued over this? Might I suggest not so hard that he is dropped as Liberal leader? Malcolm Turnbull is much better liked by the electorate than Tony. I’d rather Tony stayed as leader until after the election.

  66. Wonder if this post will get through.Lets see shall we because my last one didn’t.Maybe it didn’t suit Margos agenda;)

    Yes it’s from 2011.

    AN aggravated Kevin Rudd has rubbished claims he’s an overspending foreign minister and denied that Prime Minister Julia Gillard reprimanded him over his travel expenses.

    Speaking at a nuclear non-proliferation media conference at the United Nations in New York, where Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba introduced Mr Rudd as “Prime Minister Rudd of Australia”, the Foreign Minister was in lacerating form as he defended himself.

    “The first thing I think I’d say on behalf of all foreign ministers is that one of the things we tend to do is travel,” Mr Rudd said.

    “And that’s because we discovered a long time ago that most foreigners live abroad. And as a result we tend to move around the world a fair bit.”

    Mr Rudd, speaking on his 54th birthday, said talks involving non-proliferation, terrorism, the threats in our region took him all around the world.

    “And last time I looked at the map of the world, Australia was a long way from most places, except New Zealand.”

    He challenged reports in The Daily Telegraph that a missive from Ms Gillard on international travel expenses, unearthed in FOI documents, was personally directed at him.

    “And finally on a question of factual detail: these matters have not been raised with me by the Prime Minister in her discussions with me, nor with her chief of staff and my own chief of staff,” Mr Rudd said.

    However, this assertion is untrue.

    The correspondence obtained by The Daily Telegraph is from “Chief of Staff, Office of the Prime Minister, Canberra” and addressed specifically to “Mr Phillip Green, Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Parliament House, Canberra”.

    Mr Rudd also said today: “The correspondence which I understand [the] article refers to is reflective of the Prime Minsters general and correct reminder to all ministers of the government to be very mindful of minimising costs to the taxpayer, which we do.”

    This is also untrue.

    The letter from the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff to Mr Green is in no way general. It is very specific: “It is noted that the estimated cost of the visit is $77,607. In relation to accommodation costs, you should make every effort to ensure that costs are kept to an acceptable minimum.”

    Mr Rudd said one of the ways he kept costs down was by staying in the official residences of his ambassadors, wherever possible.

    However, the trip being discussed in the letter from the Prime Minister’s chief of staff to Mr Green included staying in a Stockholm hotel suite at a cost of $1700 a night.

    The Daily Telegraph also reported last week that Mr Rudd set a new international benchmark for travel in his first nine months in the job, clocking up more than $1 million on flights and hotel suite – more than US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

    Ah yes.Good ol honest Kev.

    • Grief Steve you are rather long winded for a troll, perhaps thats why noone gives a damn bout your refuse

      • So why bother replying?Don’t like to hear the facts?

      • ah' ah 'ah 'ah ah 'ah I misspoke says

        But what have you proven? Foreign Ministers are expensive? Get us the good oil on Downer. While you are at it add in the $300 million of the AWB scandal he presided over. Doesn’t excuse Abbott’s rort.

      • facts are fine, Steve, that’s never been the issue here by anyone. The point is, the leniency the Liberals are getting and the clear unhealthy relationship they have with the Victorian State Police, AFP and State prosecutors. Further more, as mentioned by ah ah aha ah I mispoke neither side can say they have been frugal, junkets have been happening for decades, what happened to Peter Slipper, David Etteridge and Craig Thomson is misuse of parliamtary priviledges, except I believe there is no right for what the Liberals did and should be made accountable for. As much as you like to read the Daily Telegraph, there is little indication you read lefty papers or media as a regular means to get some balance in your very right wing view of the facts.

  67. ‘OUTGOING Labor Senator Trish Crossin and her husband have taken a taxpayer-funded European study tour to brush up on her nuclear knowledge only weeks before she leaves parliament.

    The Northern Territory member has now ended a 12-day tour of France and the UK with her husband Mark after visiting a nuclear power plant, talking with an aluminium company and learning about anti-discrimination laws.

    Overseas study tour entitlements are worth the value of a round-the-world first class airfare – about $23,000 – and can cover airfares, accommodation and subsistence for the politician and their spouse on multiple tours.

    When quizzed on this, Krudds response was ‘I don’t know enough about it’.Well when he does know enough,perhaps he can comment and justify this?

    • ah' ah 'ah 'ah ah 'ah I misspoke says

      Good point here BUT try and get bipartisan support to stamp this one out. They are all at it. Actually the faux concern for Crossin who did nothing but vote on party lines and manage to keep herself in a quota winning position on the ticket is sickening to me. The best part of $200k to do not much. If she is such a noted NT figure why doesn’t she stand as an independent?

  68. The John & Janette Howard Couple spent $171,000 incl. $10,000 late checkout fee, for 4 nights in a royal suite in Rome hotel in 2003, The two weeks in Europe ended up costing Australian taxpayers a tick over a million dollars – $1,025,638. By Alan Ramsey http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/18/1058035200830.html

  69. Steve you need to be able to distinguish between legitimate claims and fraudulent ones. Mr Abbott’s were fraudulent and had to be paid back. The point of the discussion is the hypocrisy of sending Slipper off to the AFP and Mr Abbott’s much larger sum fraudulently claimed simply being repaid. It is demonstrably unfair and in the context of the attempts by Ashby and Brough appears conspiritorial.

    • Hi Kelly. Actually Mr Slippers amount was larger:)
      EMBATTLED MP Peter Slipper, who is under investigation over his latest expense claims, has had to pay back more than $15,000 to the Department of Finance after previous claims were ruled invalid.

      A Freedom of Information request by the Sunshine Coast Daily has identified that Mr Slipper was required to return money relating to 17 incidences of over-claiming in the 10 years from October, 1999, to October, last year.’

      • Kelly Bowman says

        Well Steve, I’d be curious to see how much bigger Tony Abbott’s bill will be if the AFP have a trawl back over the last 10 years as well. The issue here is the hypocrisy and double standards that the opposition applied to Slipper in sicking the AFP onto him and expecting Tony Abbott to just repay his invalid claims.

      • Joy Cooper says

        Exactly Kelly. This $9400 repayment was for only ONE lot of claims made when promoting his tome Battlelines, not for the other many claims he has made .

        Turns out Abbott didn’t even repay this amount himself. It has been categorically said that the publishers of this book MUP made the repayment. So Abbott kept the monies the taxpayers reimbursed him for the wrongful claims. How does Steve excuse that?

        One would also have to wonder how much of these “claimed” expenses were already picked up by the publisher? Was this book written in Abbott’s own time? Costello certainly used his last few months in parliament to write his book before he resigned.

      • The final settling out period for the 136 staff employed by Ms Gillard and other former ministers won’t be known until the end of the month, Government sources said.

        In addition to the severance payments the change of leadership from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd could cost the taxpayer in excess of $10 million.

        Political marketing expert with the Australian National University Andrew Hughes said costs such as campaign staff turnover, the redoing of advertising and loss of donations would result in a hefty bill.

        “The cost of changing leaders would easily hit the $10 million mark,” he said.

        Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the cost of changing leaders had not yet been calculated.

        “Staffing arrangements are currently being worked through,” Mr Dreyfus’s spokeswoman said.

        “Until these arrangements are settled, we are not in a position to estimate cost.”

        Well done milky bar kid:)

        Another $10.000.000 dollars you’ve cost the Aussie tax payer.

        Kind of makes Tonys 9 grand pale into insignificance.

        No one here has proof that Tony Abbott new about these expenses being wrongly funded.

        How much has the milky bar kids meddling in asylum seeker policy cost the tax payer to date and is still costing??How many people have died on the ocean as a result of Rudds border policy fiasco.How many Aussies died because of his Pink Batts disaster??And how much did this cost the taxpayer??No doubt about it Krudd is a class act.

      • ah' ah 'ah 'ah ah 'ah I misspoke says

        The point is he didn’t steal it!

  70. How classy. Tony Abbott asks that Pollie Pedal donation cheques are made out to his Federal Election Campaign instead http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/Portals/0/Files/pdf/pollie-pedal/PolliePedal/04mar29_mollysophie_form.pdf

  71. John Lescroart – “The essence of fascism is to make laws forbidding everything and then enforce them selectively against your enemies.”

  72. Joy Cooper says

    How sneaky is that!?! “Please make cheques payable to the Warringah FEC and send to….” How many would know what FEC stands for? Trouble is, it’s what seems so typical of the self-serving Abbott who doesn’t have an altruistic bone in his body..

  73. Tony Grant says

    Coward , criminal and this man (Abbott) wants to be our next PM?
    Abbott family history (patriarchal) running from Britain during WW11 especially for the pre boomers and boomers (who love to way flags and patriotism as a badge of honour)?

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