THE cost to the taxpayer of travel by the federal MP who represents Kingston is reasonably modest compared with some of his colleagues.
According to the latest available Department of Finance figures taxpayer-paid travelling expenses for Labor member for Isaacs Mark Dreyfus to the end of December last year came to just under $122,000.
Federal politicians’ travelling expenses have come under renewed scrutiny after Liberal member for Mackellar Bronwyn Bishop was forced to step down as Parliamentary Speaker in the wake of revelations she spent $5,227 of taxpayer money on a chartered helicopter trip from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser late last year.
The former Speaker also spent more than $300,000 on overseas travel in 2014.
Mr Dreyfus, meanwhile, did not rate in the top 10 of MPs with the highest travel expenses last year.
Unlike Ms Bishop, the member for Isaacs did not bill taxpayers for any overseas travel throughout 2014.
Most of Mr Dreyfus’ travel expenses last year were for the necessary flights to Canberra for sittings of Parliament.
His family travel expenses came to $5,391.
Mr Dreyfus’ travel costs included $58,626 for scheduled domestic flights and $33,370 for cars (including trips using Commonwealth cars). He also received a travelling allowance of $29,713.
His travel expenses were higher in 2012, the final full year Mr Dreyfus was federal attorney-general before Labor lost government, totaling about $295,500 including $157,113 on overseas travel.
In October 2013, Mr Dreyfus repaid $466 for two nights’ accommodation for a ski trip to Perisher in August 2011, on a weekend between two parliamentary sittings, and apologised for a mistake in the processing of the travel expenses claim.
The Department of Finance announced this week that the outcome of its investigation into any questionable use of taxpayer-funded entitlements by federal politicians from all sides of politics will remain secret.