Matt Canavan billed taxpayers $5390 for charter flight that could have been a day trip in the car

Canavan enjoying a burger

By Nichola Davies

Amidst the gloom of the coronavirus pandemic comes a good-old-fashioned exuberant spending story from the ivory tower of federal politics.

It has been revealed that former resources minister Matt Canavan billed taxpayers for a $5390 charter flight to travel, what takes three hours by car one way, to attend the grand opening of a coalmine.

Canavan told the Guardian that taking the mode of travel was simply unavoidable because the opening occurred on a parliamentary sitting day and he couldn’t use the normal government aircraft at the local airstrip.

He saw it worth the $5,390 charter flight then as his attendance at the opening of the Byerwen mine was essential and part of his role as minister for resources and northern Australia.

“As the government’s special purpose aircraft was unable to land at the Collinsville Airstrip, a charter from Mackay to Collinsville was the most efficient method of travel, allowing me to return to Canberra that evening to attend the rest of the parliamentary sitting week,” Mr Canavan said.

Canavan is staunchly “unashamedly” pro-coal and quit as minister to support Barnaby Joyce’s failed attempt to return to the leadership position.

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