As Taylor accuses Moore of “hollow virtue-signalling”, who doctored the documents?

Angus Taylor, grants
AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Angus Taylor has accused Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore of “hollow virtue-signalling” over emissions, suggesting she could reduce her council’s carbon emissions by cutting back on international travel.

Taylor’s letter, which was reported by the Daily Telegraph, criticised Moore for having a $15m travel bill for the year 2017-18, a figure Moore queried with the paper.

The actual report from the City shows the council spent $4206.32 on domestic and $1727.77 on international travel for councillors. The total travel budget for all employees was $229,000.

The Guardian reveals emails between the City of Sydney and the paper show Taylor’s office said it downloaded the erroneous document from the Council’s website on September 6, 2019.

The council has since provided evidence to The Guardian that the document hadn’t been removed or altered since it was uploaded in November 2018.

While Angus Taylor hasn’t directly responded to the controversy, he issued a statement saying, ““I make no apology for suggesting that the lord mayor should take real and meaningful action to reduce the City of Sydney’s carbon emissions instead of hollow virtue-signalling through letters”.

“One way to reduce emissions is through limiting unnecessary air travel and I suggest that the lord mayor’s flights to Paris for the Women4Climate conference was an unnecessary indulgence,” he said.

The Guardian reports the Daily Telegraph said it received the documents from Mr Taylor’s office. This has not been verified.

Moore has also reported the Daily Telegraph to the Press Council.

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