Coalition MPs’ ‘study allowances’ pay for trip home from Indian wedding

June 2011

Coalition MPs Barnaby Joyce, Julie Bishop and Teresa Gambaro were flown to Hyderabad by Gina Rinehart in a private jet to attend a wedding and claimed more than $12,000 in “overseas study” allowances to pay for flights home, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

The three MPs were flown to India by mining magnate Gina Rinehart in a private jet, where they watched the granddaughter of her business partner marry in front of 10,000 guests.

Mr Joyce claimed a $5,500 flight home for him and his wife from Kuala Lumpur. The day of the flight, Mr Joyce met Malaysian officials at noon and at 3pm before flying home at 10pm.

Mr Joyce also claimed $3,600 in taxpayer entitlements for him and his wife to fly to Perth the day before the couple boarded the private jetabad. A spokeswoman said the couple attended “a range of official meetings with business people and Senate colleagues” in Perth.

Ms Bishop’s report says she briefly attended a “formal” wedding ceremony but argues the primary purpose of her trip was to meet Indian energy and infrastructure companies with Australian interests and lists eight such meetings.

In Ms Bishop’s “overseas study” report she says three of her meetings occurred on the day of the wedding.

Teresa Gambaro claimed $3,446 in “overseas study travel” for the trip, the purpose of which was to observe an international development program.

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