OPINION: High time politician travel rules were changed
IT WOULD be too easy to use this space to have a shot at the now stood-aside Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley.
Ms Ley's weekend went from bad to worse after it was revealed she spent $795,000 to buy an ocean-view Gold Coast apartment while claiming to be on a trip doing the work of the government.
She has been caught out and should pay a hefty penalty, but the issue is much bigger than Sussan Ley and her investment portfolio.
The murkiness of politicians and their use (or abuse) of their travel allowance just keeps getting darker, and it is time to bring in the cleaners.
Ms Ley is just the latest to be caught - Don Randall, Peter Slipper, Tony Burke and Bronwyn Bishop are among the others - but how many haven't been found out?
Virtually every time the pollie in the firing line will claim "it was all within the rules", so if the rules around these travel expenses are so loose then it is time they were tightened to stop the rorting.
A review of these rules is apparently under way, but based on their track record, can we really expect our politicians to make a genuine effort to stop themselves abusing their privileges?
PM Malcolm Turnbull should hand the task to someone at arm's length from the parliament, and he and Bill Shorten should both agree to abide by the recommendations without question.