News

Dutton's $1k limo ride: ComCar left outside Coast fundraiser

FEDERAL Immigration Minister Peter Dutton spent almost $1000 in a single day having the government's limousine service ferry him around the Sunshine Coast, instead of using his own car or getting one of his numerous staffers to give him a lift.

Mr Dutton also refused to answer questions on whether he felt he operated within the spirit of the rules surrounding MP's expenses by having a ComCar wait for him while he attended a Liberal Party function on the day in question.

The $956.30 ComCar claim was the largest filed by Mr Dutton and larger than any car service claim filed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during the most recent round of expenses disclosed.  

ComCars charge at a rate of $78.60 an hour meaning Mr Dutton used the car service for more than 12 hours that day.

When the claim was queried with Mr Dutton's office a spokeswoman said: "Mr Dutton travelled from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast for several community round table meetings, a meeting with the Mayor, consultations with individuals and to make an announcement regarding the future of the Sunshine Coast Airport."

A subsequent search of Mr Dutton's press releases confirmed he announced federal funding for improved security at Sunshine Coast Airport, with the then Liberal candidate for the seat of Fairfax Ted O'Brien, on the day in question, Friday February 5, 2016.

However there were no releases relating to any other announcements or events.

A search of Mr Dutton's social media returned a similar result, however, the Facebook account of state Liberal MP for Buderim, Steve Dickson shows what Mr Dutton got up to that evening.

"Welcoming the Hon Peter Dutton back to the Sunshine Coast with Ted O'Brien at Red Sea Rock Steak and Seafood," Mr Dickson posted at 7pm - along with a photo of the trio outside the Ocean St eatery.

Fairfax Liberal MP Ted O'Brien shared the same post three days later saying: "A great night with Peter Dutton at Red Sea Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Maroochydore last Friday."

Ted O'Brien's Facebook post
Ted O'Brien's Facebook post

Today Mr Dutton declined to answer questions on what the event entailed, however, the owner of the now closed restaurant, Neil Deakin, described it as a Liberal Party event.

"It was a launch thing for their campaign," Mr Deakin said.

"There were about 90 people there."

Liberal sources have since confirmed the event was a party fundraiser.

In 2015 then Speaker Bronwyn Bishop was forced to resign after it emerged she had charged the taxpayer more than $6000 to charter a chopper to a Liberal Party function.

A subsequent review of MP's entitlements, completed in February 2016, recommended clarifying the rules so expenses couldn't be claimed for party fundraisers.

The findings of the review are yet to be made law - despite the tribunal which considers entitlements directing MPs to them when it handed down its most recent finding. 

Topics:  comcar editors picks expenses liberal maroochydore party fundraiser peter dutton sunshine coast


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Register for Relay for Life 2017

SIGN UP: Lorna Hicks, Debbie Shields, Julie Sandeman and Ashlee Hansen at the Central Highlands Relay for Life 2016.

Throw your support behind Relay for Life 2017.

Day extra special for new citizens

FLAG DOWN A PARTY: The council will hold events all over the Central Highlands.

Australia Day will be extra special for our newest citizens.

Their stories live on

HISTORY LESSON: Lady Annie Brassey visited Tenterfield in July 1887 while spending much of the last 10 years of her life at sea. Hear her story on Australia Day.

Hear the region's stories of old at the historical afternoon tea.

Local Partners

Women "bullied" into caesareans at rural hospital: claims

Maternity service review causes chaos at Emerald Hospital.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Win your love with tickets

SMILES: Staff and children from Outside School Hours Care are fundraising for a new playground at the centre.

DAZZLE your darling with tickets to this year's Valentine's Day Ball

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!