Senator George Brandis
Senator George Brandis

Brandis not fit to draft code of conduct, says Dreyfus

FORMER Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has hit out at his counterpart, Senator George Brandis, saying he was not fit to draft the Coalition's new ministerial code of conduct.

Mr Dreyfus's criticism comes after Senator Brandis admitted on Sunday he billed a $3000 trip to attend a friend's wedding to the taxpayer.

Senator Brandis admitted the mistake, saying it should not have been listed in his travel as a business visit, and promised to pay the money back.

It is understood Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce also attended the wedding, but Mr Joyce has denied he charged any costs to the taxpayer.

But Mr Dreyfus jumped on the issue, saying the new Attorney-General did not "properly understand the requirements" of ministerial codes of conduct.

"The facts presented in the media demonstrate that these benefits were a flagrant breach of Mr Joyce and Senator Brandis' travel entitlements," Mr Dreyfus said.

"The fact that Senator Brandis - after initially trying to defend his actions today - has now scrambled to repay the money when it was clear that no one was buying his excuses, clearly demonstrates the breach."

Mr Dreyfus also called on the Prime Minister to reassign the development of the code to another minister, despite Senator Brandis's six years experience as shadow attorney-general before his selection as a cabinet minister after the election.