Speaker Bronwyn Bishop charges $5000 for chopper to fundraiser
5 November 2014
Former speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop chartered a helicopter to travel from Melbourne to Geelong and back to attend a state Liberal Party fundraiser. The journey typically takes an hour each way by road. The cost of the flights was $5,227.27.
She initially refused to resign over the expenses claim, describing it as an “error of judgement”. However, she agreed to pay back the sum of the helicopter flight plus a penalty of $1,307. It later emerged that also in 2014, Bishop and four parliamentary delegates spent $88,084 on a two-week trip to Europe in her bid for presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, including almost $1000 a day on private limousines.
Bishop also charged taxpayers more than $3,300 for car expenses to attend the opera and other arts events from 2010 to 2013.
Bishop eventually resigned the speakership on 2 August 2015.
She announced in December 2015 that she intended to recontest her seat of Mackellar, claiming she had been “exonerated” over “Choppergate”. However, Bishop was defeated in the pre-selection battle by Jason Falinski, who retained Mackellar for the Liberals at the 2016 election.