The public has paid millions to fly senior politicians around on “special purpose” VIP flights according to documents forced from the Albanese government by the Greens.
After hiding the truth for more than 12 months the documents were finally released this week and they show more than $3.75 million spent on VIP flights for the new Prime Minister since just May last year.
If flights taken to support his role as Leader of the Opposition are included the cost rises to over $5.3 million.
Meanwhile the new Defence Minister has taken $2.9 million in special purpose VIP flights and the Governor General has cost taxpayers more than $1.9 m to be flown around for his largely ceremonial duties in the same period.
While the numbers are enormous, the full details of the flights are still being hidden by Defence who allege that telling the public where politicians flew last year would cause security concerns.
Greens Senator and Defence Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“For a government that promised transparency they sure have needed their arms twisted to spill the beans on these VIP flights.
“This is an eye-watering bill to fly senior politicians around in VIP flights.“Of course there’s a need to fly the PM around for offical duties, but this PM is billing taxpayers harder and faster for VIP flights than any before him.
“The refusal, apparently for security reasons, to tell us where the flights went is a very convenient way to avoid serious scrutiny.
“It’s hard to see what credible security risk there is from telling us where politicians were flown to 12 months ago,” Senator Shoebridge said.
Documents available for download below