Two Victorian pollies have started a fire, and it was sparked by their decision to charge a chauffeured round trip to Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s gig on February 11th to the taxpayer.
As News Corp reports, Attorney-General Martin Pakula and Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan used their ministerial cars to cart them to Hanging Rock — which sits 75km northwest of Melbourne — amounting to a girthy 150km joyride.
But the pair seemingly DGAF, defending their decision to ~Drive All Night~ on the taxpayer’s dime, arguing that they were invited to the gig by promoters Frontier Touring in an “official capacity”.
Allan reckons it’s all good in the hood because she “spoke to organisers about how we can continue to promote and support Victoria’s economy through major events like this”, while Pakula echoed the same sentiments, adding that the pair “talked to the organisers about how we can draw more events to regional Victoria in the future”.
However, Opposition public transport spokesman David Hodgett reckons their excuses don’t cut the mustard, telling News Corp he doubts they’d pass the “pub test” (AKA the wider public’s criteria for what could be considered responsible fiscal behaviour).
“If ministers are using their ministerial entitlements for other than ministerial duties, that doesn’t pass the pub test,” Hodgett argues.
“Given the rorts that have gone on under [Victorian Premier] Daniel Andrews’ MPs would it be any wonder ministers would not be using their entitlements in the proper way as attended?”
ICYMI: Parliamentary entitlements have been placed under a blaring spotlight recently, particularly in VIC, where the government has just been rocked by the shock resignations of Speaker Telmo Languiller and Deputy Speaker Don Nardella, who it turned out had been billing us $40K and over $100K respectively for living outside their western suburbs electorates, courtesy of some BS parliamentary “second residence” allowance.
By contrast, it turns out another MP — Member for Macedon and Cabinet Secretary Mary-Anne Thomas — also got invited to The Boss’s Hanging Rock gig as a special guest, but instead of hitching a cushy chauffeured ride, old love instead opted to catch the public bus from Woodend like a pleb.
What a champ.