A DESPERATE Peter Slipper has lashed out at the Sunshine Coast Daily and his own LNP parliamentary colleague Alex Somlyay as pressure increases on his extravagent use of parliamentary entitlements.
The Fisher MP, who Mr Somlyay today described as one of the biggest spending MPs in Australia, again took to ABC Coast FM to accuse the Daily of a toxic campaign against him.
Mr Slipper claimed Mr Somlyay had no legal obligation to present a Daily-sponsored petition to Canberra, adding that it did nothing for LNP unity.
The petition, calling for an audit of Mr Slipper's expenditure over the past 10 years and more accountability for all MPs, was presented to the Petitions Committee which will now decide what action to take.
Mr Slipper has repeatedly refused to answer questions about why he has spent tens of thousands of dollars on taxis and Comcars and domestic travel other than to say it was for his official business.
Specifically, he has ignored offers to explain why taxpayers picked up the $312 bill for taxis he used on a night out last year in Canberra which included visits to an inner city watering hole and a Turkish restaurant.
Mr Slipper instead turned the attack on Mr Somlyay, claiming that constituents of Mr Somlyay had to visit his office to get the help the Fairfax MP would not provide.
The comments came after Mr Somlyay said people from Mr Slipper's electorate were coming to see him because they refused to deal with Mr Slipper.
On the ABC, Mr Slipper claimed voters from Fairfax told his staff that Mr Somlyay would not work in an iron lung and was often on the golf course.
He belittled the 2700-signature petition signed by Sunshine Coast residents seeking a full audit of his expense claims over the past decade saying the number was small compared with his primary vote at the last election.
Mr Slipper accused the Daily of making the news rather than reporting it and said the region's primary source of news and information was rapidly losing readers.
Daily editor in chief Mark Furler said Mr Slipper should spend more time finding answers to legitimate questions rather than 'shooting the messenger'.
He said the fact that the Daily had recently won an international award as PANPA Newspaper of the Year - as well as two major awards at Saturday night's Queensland Clarion Media Awards showed how wrong he was.
"For the record, the Daily and its suite of 12 community titles from Noosa to Caboolture reach almost 250,000 readers a week while our online site has almost 250,000 unique browsers a month,'' Mr Furler said.
"Add to that more than 51,000 people on our Facebook network you can see the Daily's reach is far more significant than Mr Slipper would like to admit.''
Mr Somlyay said his colleague had made his own bed and now had to lie in it.
"With Peter, it is always someone else's fault,'' Mr Somlyay said.
"The day is rapidly coming when he will have to take responsibilities for his own actions.
"In relation to my constituents visiting his electorate office for assistance I can assure you exactly the opposite is what's occurring.''
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