Husar booked Brissy meeting just one day before trip
EMBATTLED Labor MP Emma Husar locked in a meeting with a charity in Brisbane only one day before the Bruno Mars concert that she attended using taxpayer funded-flights and accommodation.
The Daily Telegraph revealed this week Ms Husar took a taxpayer-funded trip to Brisbane during which she saw a Bruno Mars concert with the Chief Inspector of Penrith Police Station, Tracy Stone.
On the day of the concert, March 14, Ms Husar had no meetings in Brisbane but claimed $114 for use of a government-chauffeured Comcar, which she says was probably from the airport to her hotel, along with flights and accommodation.
Her only two meetings in Brisbane were the following day, on March 15, with a homeless service called The Micah Project and she also visited a domestic violence call centre, DVConnect.
The Lindsay MP defended the use of taxpayer funds for her trip to Brisbane, saying the two meetings were relevant to her parliamentary position.
Ms Husar had declined to answer The Daily Telegraph's questions about whether the two meetings were organised before or after Ms Husar decided to go to the March 14 concert.
But The Micah Project yesterday said they accepted the meeting invitation on March 13 - the day before the Bruno Mars concert was held on the night of the 14th and two days before their meeting with Ms Husar.
Micah Projects chief executive Karyn Walsh said they accepted Ms Husar's meeting request via email on Tuesday, March 13.
Ms Walsh said while she could not locate the original meeting request that was sent from Ms Husar's office, she did not believe it would have been received more than a few days earlier.
She said that was not unusual for politicians who often left organising meetings to the "last minute".
The meeting was scheduled for an hour.
The tickets to see Mars were paid for by Ms Stone as a birthday present for Ms Husar, whose birthday is a month after the concert on April 20.
It is understood Ms Stone purchased the tickets to Bruno Mars when they went on sale in December 2017.
Ms Husar's flight back from Brisbane to Sydney on March 15 cost taxpayers $492.
After the concert, Ms Husar and Ms Stone shared a hotel room together as friends, with the hotel bill paid for by the taxpayer.
Her spokesman said the cost of her accommodation in Brisbane, along with her flight from Cairns to Brisbane, was taxpayer-funded but had not yet been made publicly available.
Ms Husar is now under investigation by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority for possible misuse of taxpayer funds.
Ms Husar has taken personal leave amid allegations of bullying in her Western Sydney office and claims staff were asked to clean up her dog's faeces and babysit her children.
NSW ALP has hired barrister John Whelan to investigate claims of bullying and sexual harassment made by Ms Husar's former staff members against her.
NSW Labor says people involved in the investigation have "expressed concerns about the impact of this matter on their well being" as further allegations emerge on the investigation.
A spokesman said Mr Whelan's assessment of the complaints was continuing and blamed delays in the investigation on continued public speculation.
"It is a cause of some delay to the process and is serving to escalate tensions in an environment where parties to the Assessment have expressed concerns about the impact of this matter on their wellbeing," a spokesman said.
The Independent Assessment is reaching its final stages and NSW Labor expects to be briefed by Mr Whelan in the coming weeks.
"It is a cause of some delay to the process and is serving to escalate tensions in an environment where parties to the Assessment have expressed concerns about the impact of this matter on their wellbeing.
"NSW Labor will not be commenting on any matters which may be before the Independent Assessment."
Staff have also alleged that Ms Husar asked them to work as childminders.