Further questions arise in politicians’ perks audit

The former speaker and his deputy, dumped from their plum posts after claiming $150,000 in entitlements, face further questions from auditors after the first step of a parliamentary probe into politicians’ perks.
Nanjing Night Net

As revealed by Fairfax Media, western suburbs Labor MPs Telmo Languiller and Don Nardella moved their homes to the Bellarine Peninsula and then claimed a second residence allowance designed for country MPs who have to visit Melbourne frequently.

Both men now face further questions arising from a desktop audit conducted by parliament’s internal auditors Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Late on Tuesday a spokesman for the parliament said internal auditors had completed a desktop audit of all MPs receiving the allowance since the 2014 election.

Internal auditors “are now following up with individual members to clarify queries arising from the desktop audit”.

The audit committee’s work was expected to finish this week, but it is now set to report back when parliament resumes next week.

“Whilst cognisant of the public interest in the issue, Parliament’s Audit Committee determined to allow the auditors sufficient time to complete a thorough review of the extensive documentation associated with the first stage of the audit to ensure procedural fairness and natural justice is available to all Members,” the statement said.

Dozens of MPs claim the second residence allowance, including some ministers and 15 Coalition members.

Mr Languiller, who is on a month’s sick leave, is paying back $40,000 he claimed to live in Queenscliff away from his Tarneit electorate.

But Mr Nardella, who claimed $113,00 to live in Ocean Grove away from Melton, is refusing to pay back the cash and has been forced out of state caucus to the crossbench.

Premier Daniel Andrews has promised to clean up politicians’ entitlements, including restricting the second residence allowance for country MPs.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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