A Nationals MP admitted to sleeping on a boat “occasionally” when he visited Sydney for parliament. He still claimed the living away from home allowance.
A Nationals MP admitted to sleeping on a boat “occasionally” when he visited Sydney for parliament. He still claimed the living away from home allowance.

Nats MP claimed ‘Sydney allowance’ while sleeping on boat

A Nationals MP from a landlocked electorate has admitted to sleeping on a boat "occasionally" when he visited Sydney for parliament while he claimed the political living away from home allowance.

Nationals Minister Kevin Anderson, the member for Tamworth, has told how last year he would sleep on his boat, which was moored in Sydney, when he "couldn't get into the usual accommodation".

Mr Anderson still claimed the "Sydney allowance" - which is a payment of up to $300 a night provided to MPs who live more than 70km from the parliament - while living on the boat.

"It's certainly not a luxury yacht," Mr Anderson told The Daily Telegraph, adding that he last used it for parliament accommodation in 2019.

He said he had not slept on it while parliament was sitting this year.

"It's a family cruiser. It has a shower, toilet, bed, a boat-style kitchen so I can cook meals and go to sleep. It's a bit unique, I can see that."

Mr Anderson said staying on the boat occasionally did not break any rules with the parliament and he had "triple checked".

"If I do stay on my boat I've triple checked with the parliament that, yes, I can claim the Sydney allowance," he said.

"There's a significant expense there. It's certainly not a money-making exercise. Like some people pay off a house, I'm paying off the boat as well as whatever the mooring fees cost.

"The average price for a berth in Sydney Harbour is $1800 to $2000 a month."

Other MPs said Mr Anderson's arrangements did not "pass the pub test".

Originally published as Rural Nats MP claimed 'Sydney allowance' while sleeping on boat


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