- by theguardian
- 24 Mar 2023
According to the latest Independent Parliamentary Expense Authority (Ipea) report for expenses paid in the April-June quarter, Katter claimed $35,468.14 in Comcar bills, the private taxi service for federal politicians.
That was more than any other politician besides Scott Morrison, prime minister until the May election, and Anthony Albanese, the opposition leader then prime minister.
Morrison claimed $115,340 in Comcar in that quarter, while Albanese claimed $111,807. Both leaders regularly claimed Comcar bills of several thousand dollars per day.
Katter had 120 Comcar trip expenses paid in the last quarter. Four of those, totalling $1,361, were for trips between 2019-21; the remaining $34,107 was racked up between February and June 2022.
The next highest Comcar charge in the April-June quarter was Richard Marles, the then deputy Labor leader, at $23,418. The Department of Finance notes Comcar charges for ministers may be met by their portfolio, potentially explaining why former Coalition ministers may have had relatively lower bills.
In a statement, a spokesman for Katter declined to explain why his Comcar bill was so much higher than other politicians, or how such large daily expenses were incurred.
Katter defended his travel by noting government and industry leaders were based in Brisbane.
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