Former Page MP Janelle Saffin
Former Page MP Janelle Saffin Jacklyn Wagner

COMMENT: Politicians must give voters their money's worth

I NOTE that in the recent coverage of MP's costs dated July 2, I was mentioned by the Member for Page, Mr Hogan.

Mr Hogan's attempts to deflect attention away from his own spending have not resulted in providing any cause or justification for this spending but have taken the form of spurious yet unsupported allegations against other former and serving MPs.

The cost of governance to the taxpayer must be adequately scrutinised, and it is vital to ensure that these costs provide genuine, tangible outcomes for the electorate.

I was able to account for all costs, whilst working hard for the local community, here and in Canberra.

Only in Canberra can an MP lobby to secure high level political support and funding to ensure the delivery of better services across health, education, community, roads and infrastructure.

The public is judge on whether their MP is 'value for money' and during my two terms as MP I freely submitted myself to critique and was judged favourably on this criteria.

Mr Hogan cited that my spend included overseas travel.

By diminishing his role and in turn the community's in representing our interests regionally, specifically regarding agriculture and trade, Mr Hogan has done the electorate no favours.

As the Chair of the Parliament's joint standing committee on Trade, by request, I led a delegation to Japan and Korea to promote and discuss our pending free trade agreements.

I was ably assisted by my Deputy the Hon. Bruce Scott, a Nationals representative.

Further, as Principal Adviser on Burma to the Prime Ministers, Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Ministers for Defence, I secured among other things, a Trade Commissioner in Burma. Tim Fischer always advocated being engaged locally and beyond, that is what Federal representation is about.

I see from Mr Hogan's entitlements that he has not brokered any trade agreements nor worked as an advisor to Ministerial colleagues. Instead, all we see from Mr. Hogan is minimal effort to travel for the mandatory sitting weeks.

Hardly value for money.

* Janelle Saffin is the former Labor member for Page

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