Four government ministers billed taxpayers almost $7000 to attend Malcolm Turnbull’s private harbourside New Year’s Eve reception in 2015 – even as the majority of the Coalition frontbench paid their own way.
The guests were served Chermoula spiced quail breasts with pomegranate molasses and Sydney rock oysters with chardonnay vinegar dressing, at the glitzy 185-person celebration that cost taxpayers almost $10,000.
Entitlements claims for the period covering the party, just months after Mr Turnbull assumed his prime ministership, were only revealed last month.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton flew from Brisbane on December 31st, returning on January 1st, and claimed flights, COMCAR costs and a $468 travel allowance to attend.
Attorney General George Brandis was in Sydney between December 30th and January 1st, and claimed flights, COMCAR and travel allowance for two days.
Communications Minister Mitch Fifield claimed COMCAR costs and flights for himself and a family member to fly to and from Melbourne for the evening, flying to Sydney on December 31 and back on the 1st.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham claimed only a single taxpayer-funded Cabcharge for the visit, totalling $62.53.
A spokesperson for Senator Birmingham confirmed he attended “an official function” at Kirribilli House “while on a privately funded trip to Sydney” but claimed “all other aspects of the trip were self-funded by the Minister”.
Spokespeople for the other three ministers all confirmed the entitlements claims were based around attendance at the event, and all described it as an “official function”.
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