Tony Burke asks Finance Dept to probe own Uluru trip
FEDERAL Labor frontbencher Tony Burke has denied being a hypocrite for criticising Bronwyn Bishop for her travel expenses when he flew his own kids business class at taxpayers expense.
But Mr Burke today revealed he had asked the Finance Department to review his use of parliamentary travel entitlements.
He said the spending was clearly beyond community expectations, so he has asked the department to investigate.
Mr Burke said he was working during the trip.
"I left the kids each day and went to work, in the evenings I was with them," he said in Sydney.
He said he had senior members of staff and departmental officials with him during the visit.
"You don't go on a holiday with the public servants from your department," he said.
Mr Burke led Labor's attack on Ms Bishop over her expenses claims including the use of a charter helicopter.
The Labor MP charged taxpayers more than $12,000 for a four-day trip to Uluru in 2012.
The claim included more than $8,000 in flights for four family members.
Mr Burke said he was at Uluru in his capacity as environment minister and the travel was within the rules.
The comments come after News Corp revealed Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young charged taxpayers $2700 in flights, accommodation and chauffeur-driven cars in Sydney on the same weekend in 2013 that she partied at Mardi Gras.
Ms Hanson-Young received two VIP tickets from Mardi Gras organisers to attend the March 2 event.
That weekend the Adelaide-based Senator - who was spokeswoman for gay and lesbian issues at the time - claimed $744 for two nights of travel allowance, $994 in flights and $963 in Comcar travel.
Ms Hanson-Young's office said she was acting in her role as the Greens spokeswoman on gay issues.