Greens and MPs, including Sarah Hanson-Young and Penny Wong, pay thousands of dollars to taxpayers to fly to Sydney for the Mardi Gras
- Senator of the Greens, Senator Hanson-Young, has charged Australians over $ 1,700
- Adam Bandt and his wife Claudia Perkins billed nearly $ 3,000 in flights
- Labor MP Penny Wong also amassed more $ 2,000 in flight costs from Adelaide
Labor and Green MPs billed taxpayers thousands of dollars to fly to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney and be driven around by drivers.
Senator of the Greens MP, Sarah Hanson-Young, has charged Australians over $ 1,700 for her trip from Canberra to Sydney for the festival in February.
Costs included $ 1,300 for two-night accommodation, $ 290 for flights from Canberra, and $ 126 for a private car and driver, the Herald Sun. reported.
The leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt and his wife Claudia Perkins, were also charged nearly $ 3,000 just for flights from Sydney to Melbourne, according to the publication.
Adam Bandt, Australian Greens Party leader attending the 42nd annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in Sydney on February 29
Labor Member of Parliament Penny Wong (center left) attends Sydney’s 40th Annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade in 2018
While the couple didn’t charge taxpayers for housing, the public was charged another $ 80 for a driver.
Labor Member of Parliament Penny Wong also claimed over $ 2,000 on flights from Adelaide, $ 280 in car rides and $ 453 for accommodation.
Ms. Wong and deputy Labor leader Richard Marles, who billed Australians for part of his one-night stay in the city, said the pair marched in the parade to show support for the LGBTIQ community.
Mr. Bandt said that his participation in the parade was just as important as the Prime Minister canceling a trip to an ANZAC day shift.
Greens MP Sarah Hanson-Young attends the 2015 Mardi Gras festival in Sydney
The 42nd anniversary parade of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney in 2020
A spokesman for Mr. Bandt told the publication that a visit to Mardi Gras was a gesture of support.
“Being with Mardi Gras is not only a powerful gesture of unity and support for the gay community, but it is also an invaluable opportunity to meet the Australian LGBTIQ + family to ensure their needs are met,” said he.
MPs are allowed to claim work-related travel within Australia, including the cost of flights, cars and accommodation.
The claims must offer taxpayers good value for money.
More than 300,000 partygoers attend the annual festival on Oxford Street every year. Pictured: a woman celebrating with men dressed as lifeguards
Under the benefits of ‘family reunification’, partners and dependent family members are allowed on some domestic journeys.
It was not the first time that Labor and Greens MPs attended celebrations.
Photos show Ms. Hanson-Young at the festival in 2015 and Ms. Wong in 2018.
More than 300,000 partygoers attend the annual festival on Oxford Street every year.
The 2020 festival represented the 42nd celebration of the LGBTQI community.