Julie Bishop has claimed $32,000 in taxpayer-funded family travel for her long-term boyfriend but says she is not obliged to disclose his financial interests on the parliamentary register because he is not her "spouse" or de facto partner.Apparently, they live in separate cities, and have been an item since 2014.
But since when does any job, private or public, carry such side benefits for a (for want of a better term) boyfriend or girlfriend who hasn't reached the heights of "de facto partner" yet?:
Ms Bishop has claimed $32,000 in taxpayer-funded travel for him between 2015 and 2017. Ms Bishop nominated him as her designated family member in 2015 which entitles him to free domestic airfares and Comcar rides under the allowance granted to MPs for family reunification. These benefits can be bestowed by an MP on almost anyone and are disclosed in Department of Finance records.
Ms Bishop has previously said she began dating Mr Panton in early 2014. Photographs of the pair published since then show they regularly attend social events such as the Melbourne Cup, Portsea Polo and sporting grand finals, and meet with celebrities abroad.In the first six months of 2015, Mr Panton claimed nearly $10,000 in flights and car rides, including more than $3000 in flights to and from Perth on the same weekend Ms Bishop declared on her pecuniary interests that she had received free tickets to the Leeuwin Estate Concert in Margaret River. The pair were photographed attending the event together.