TRAVEL RORT CLAIMS
NEW England MP Barnaby Joyce yesterday hit back at claims he rorted the public purse to attend a mate’s wedding – and then wrote a cheque to pay back the money.
In his first scandal as a lower house MP, Mr Joyce was on Sunday accused of claiming more than $600 in taxpayer funds for a Comcar to travel to the 2011 wedding of friend and Sydney shock-jock Michael Smith.
But in a stinging rebuttal, Mr Joyce yesterday strongly denied any wrongdoing, branding the furore “simply an issue about a car trip”, before dispatching a cheque to the Department of Finance for $615.90 to “remove any confusion”.
“The newspaper articles made my car trip to a motel sound like some great expedition,” Mr Joyce said in a letter to The Leader.
“I am ... confident there was no wrongdoing on my part.
“The facts speak for themselves. I did not claim a motel expense. I did not claim any flights.
“The only expense I claimed was the car trip from the television studio to the motel.
“So in summary, this is simply an issue about a car trip.”
He blamed the Opposition for “trawling through my past”, labelling the story a “personal attack”.
*** See our Letters page for Mr Joyce’s full response