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    Sarah Hanson-Young: Greens senator claimed almost $1 million in travel entitlements

    • Geoff Chambers
    • The Daily Telegraph
    • August 28, 2015 12:55AM

    Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. Picture: Ray Strange

    HIGH-profile Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has claimed almost $1 million on travel entitlements, with trips including visits to refugee camps and environmental meetings.

    The Herald Sun can reveal Ms Hanson-Young’s bill for charter flights and overseas study tours amounts to more than $85,000.

    And her party has racked up almost $245,000 on its MPs’ charter travel claims.
    According to Department of Finance documents, between her entry into parliament in mid-2008 and December last year, Senator Hanson-Young claimed almost $970,000 on travel entitlements. These included domestic fares, travelling allowance, family travel costs, car costs, charter and overseas expense claims.

    Senator Hanson-Young and Greens deputy leader Scott Ludlam — based in Adelaide and Perth respectively — each claimed more charter travel than former leader Christine Milne.

    Senator Ludlam’s claims, totalling more than $66,000, doubled Ms Milne’s claims made between 2008 and 2014.

    Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale defended his party members’ use of charter flights.

    Under entitlement guidelines, senators can use charter flights to attend photo opportunities and community rallies within their “statewide electorates”.

    Ms Hanson-Young’s bill for charter flights and overseas study tours amounts to more than $85,000. Picture: Kym Smith

    In April 2013, Senator Di Natale joined Senator Hanson-Young for a photo-op in front of a coal power station and air pollution forum in Port Augusta, South Australia.
    Senator Hanson-Young later made two claims related to charter travel to Port Augusta worth a combined $8220.91.

    “There is nothing wrong with an MP using a charter flight in the course of doing their job, which is why the entitlement exists,” Senator Di Natale said.

    He said his party supported the establishment of an “independent parliamentary entitlements” officer to help “remove ambiguity about appropriate use”.

    Senator Hanson-Young did not respond to questions about her overseas study tours and whether she would consider travelling by road to community engagements.
    Over an 18-month period between 2012 and 2014 she claimed more than $20,000 on tours to Indonesia, PNG, Jordan and Lebanon.

    Senator Hanson-Young claimed almost $25,000 travelling to Denmark, Sweden and Greece in 2011. On her most recent trip to the Middle East she spent six days visiting Syrian refugee camps.

    According to Department of Finance documents, Senator Ludlam claimed two trips to Manjimup and Margaret River worth almost $10,000.
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