AEC travel bill exploded during Federal MP citizenship crisis
AEC travel bill exploded during Federal MP citizenship crisis LUKAS COCH

Hidden cost of MP citizenship crisis revealed

A HIDDEN cost of the citizenship crisis that engulfed parliament has been revealed, with the Australian Electoral Commission's travel costs exploded.

The Australian Electoral Commission’s travel bill jumped more than 25 per cent to top $1 million in domestic flights. Picture: Istock
The Australian Electoral Commission’s travel bill jumped more than 25 per cent to top $1 million in domestic flights. Picture: Istock

The AEC's travel bill jumped more than 25 per cent to top $1 million in domestic flights as staff crisscrossed the nation to deal with the subsequent by-elections.

The commission's total travel bill for 2017-18 rose to $2.8 million once $310,000 in international flights and $1.4 million in accommodation were included.

Domestic and international business-class flights totalling more than $350,000 were racked up during this time.

The AEC said the spike was largely due to the citizenship by-elections.

During the 45th parliament, 15 federal politicians were revealed to have been dual citizens and therefore ineligible to hold their seats. This sparked seven by-elections for the House of Representatives.

Only three of the by-elections - in Batman, Bennelong and Barnaby Joyce's New England - were held in the 2017-18 financial year. But the financial year included preparation for another five polls in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Perth and Fremantle.



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