Jet-setting MPs clock up $1.3m bill
JET-setting Cabinet ministers spent $1.36 million on overseas trips during the Palaszczuk Government's first term in office, new figures show.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's overseas travel bill totalled $461,487 - more than double what her predecessor Campbell Newman spent during his three years in power.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington yesterday blasted Labor's "extravagant'' spending and called on the Premier to "show more respect to the hardworking taxpayers who pay her travel bills''.
"Premiers need to go overseas occasionally but Annastacia Palaszczuk's travel bill is excessive,'' she said yesterday.
"Her travel tab is paid by ordinary Queenslanders, most of whom can only dream about jetting around the globe.
"Labor's 'eco-friendly Cabinet must have the biggest carbon footprint in Australian history.''
But Ms Palaszczuk - who is also the Queensland Minister for Trade - defended the cost of her travel yesterday, declaring that "travel equals trade, and trade equals jobs''.
"We cannot sell Queensland to the world if we don't get out in the world to do it,'' she said. "Queensland is exporting a record $73 billion worth of goods - $30 billion more than Campbell Newman's time.
"That's money in Queensland pockets.''
An analysis of ministerial travel expense reports reveals that Labor-Palaszczuk ministers spent 70 per cent more than LNP-Newman ministers during each government's first term in office.
LNP ministers spent $806,415 on overseas travel over nearly three years between March 2012 and January 2015.
Labor ministers spent $1.36 million on overseas trips between February 2015 and June 2017.
The State Government has not yet published the costs of ministerial trips last financial year, and the Premier's travel bill does not include her extra portfolio as Trade Minister from December last year.
Ms Palaszczuk spent $461,487 on eight trips to the USA, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and India between February 2015, when her government won power, and June last year.
The Premier has since travelled to the United States in February this year, and to Japan and the US again last month.
Former LNP Premier Newman spent $193,666 on six trips covering India, PNG, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, China, Japan, the USA and Korea during his term in office.
Ms Palaszczuk yesterday said the Japanese company Oji Fibre Solutions had invested $72 million in a new manufacturing facility, supporting 100 jobs, in Yatala following her trade mission to Japan in 2016.
Following the same trip, the Japanese JFE Steel Corporation partnered with QCoal to invest in the $1.76 billion Byerwen coal project near Glenden.
Ms Palaszczuk said that international film production companies were injecting $58 million into the Queensland economy in the wake of official government visits to the United States.
LNP - Campbell Newman
Travel: March 2012 - January 2015
New Zealand $8589
United Arab Emirates, Singapore, China, Japan $77,651
Labor - Annastacia Palaszczuk
Travel February 2015 - June 2017
China & Japan $56,123
Hong Kong, China $57,608
Singapore, UK, India $60,337
Source: Ministerial overseas travel reports