Taxpayers footed the bill for family members of Coalition MPs Luke Simpkins and Natasha Griggs to fly to the idyllic Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean for a weekend stay, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Department of Finance records reportedly show Ms Griggs’ husband Paul flew from Darwin to Cocos via Perth and Christmas Island at a cost of $4385. The bill for Mr Simpkins’ wife Kelly and two daughters to travel from Perth via Christmas Island was $5100.
Air fares for the family members to Cocos appear to have been funded under “family reunion” provisions of the parliamentary entitlements system.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, questions were raised about the appropriateness of using the family reunion provisions because travel records suggest Mr Simpkins and Ms Griggs both spent the previous week in their electorates.
Mr Simpkins, a WA Liberal MP, lost his seat to Labor’s Anne Aly in the 2016 election, while Ms Griggs, a Northern Territory Country Liberal MP, was appointed Administrator of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories in October 2017.
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