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hail to the governor general

  1. For a lame duck Howard appointee I'd say he's having a whale of a time. He may not be half the man his predecessor was but he's spending twice as much...

    Funny, I thought he'd been keeping a low profile...


    Governor-General runs up $900,000 travel bill
    February 10 2003





    Governor-General Peter Hollingworth spent almost $900,000 on travel in his first year in office, a Senate estimates committee was told today.

    That was an average of $2,452 a day and more than twice as much as his predecessor Sir William Deane spent in his last year.

    Dr Hollingworth also spent $300,000 refurbishing his private apartment, the Lakeside Suite, at his official Yarralumla residence.

    His official secretary Martin Bonsey told the Senate Committee on Finance and Public Administration that in the 2001-01 financial year Dr Hollingworth made 116 flights, almost all in RAAF VIP planes.

    With relatively minor accommodation and Commonwealth car costs plus GST added, his travel cost taxpayers $895,280.



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    The previous year, Sir William spent $430,500.

    Mr Bonsey said Dr Hollingworth needed to visit widely in his first year and that his term coincided with the second half of the Centenary of Federation.

    He also provided figures contradicting media reports that Dr Hollingworth has turned his Sydney residence Admiralty House into his real home.

    In the 589 nights he'd been in office, the Governor-General spent 353 of them at Yarralumla and only 79 at Admiralty House.

    The Lakeside Suite at Yarralumla - a kitchenette, bedroom, bathroom/dressing room complex and modest living room - hadn't been refurbished for nearly 12 years and suffered major design defects, said Mr Bonsey.

    He provided a lengthy list of problems, including lack of privacy, pillars cutting space in the living room, poor access to a deck and the G-G having to climb into a spa to shower.

    For $300,000 he has a less confined living room, new French windows to the deck, a reconfigured bathroom and new furnishings, including a new $5,909 rug and two armchairs costing $6,660.

    When he's not at home or in Sydney, Dr Hollingworth has got around. Since taking office, he's spent 44 nights in Victoria, 26 in Queensland, 18 in Western Australia five in South Australia, two in Tasmania as well as 30 overseas and 22 when he made his own arrangements while on holidays.

    Mr Bonsey told Labor Senator John Faulkner that Dr Hollingworth was handling privately his cooperation with an Anglican Church inquiry in Brisbane into alleged child sex abuse.

    He said Dr Hollingworth was supplying written material to the inquiry, but no travel or legal costs had been incurred by his office.


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