Foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop charged taxpayers thousands of dollars to attend the AFL Grand Final last year on “official ministerial business”, expense reports reveal.
Last year Bishop spent over $3,500 attending the Western Bulldogs v Sydney Swans AFL Grand Final.
The deputy leader of the Liberal party was photographed at the official AFL Grand Final Breakfast, alongside prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, before watching the Western Bulldogs end its 62 year premiership drought from corporate seats gifted to her by the AFL Commission.
A Department of Finance report shows Bishop spent $1,946 on flights from Perth to Melbourne, $577.68 on a chauffeur driven car and claimed $442 in travel allowance for one night’s accommodation on Grand Final day. Taxpayers paid another $613.09 for a flight on to Canberra.
Bishop spent five nights in Melbourne that week, expensing $1598 for private cars and claiming $2210 total travel allowance.
Later that month, the minister charged taxpayers to attend two days of the Spring Racing Carnival in Melbourne as a guest of Suncorp, Emirates, Mumm and Lion.
A spokesperson for the foreign minister told BuzzFeed News she attended the 2016 Grand Final in an official capacity and spent the breakfast selling a group of Chinese businessmen on Australia as an investment destination.
“The Minister understands the Chinese delegation were guests of the AFL and there was no cost to the taxpayer for their hospitality,” the spokesperson said.