Federal police looked into George Christensen's trips to South-East Asia, but found no evidence of illegality. However he has repaid some costs.
Federal police looked into George Christensen's trips to South-East Asia, but found no evidence of illegality. However he has repaid some costs.

Christensen ordered to pay for flight and car trip

A PARLIAMENTARY expenses watchdog has found one domestic flight and car trip George Christensen took did not meet its guidelines.

The Dawson MP has since been ordered to pay back the cost of the travel.

Mr Christensen said the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority probed a number of his domestic flights over a four-year period.

The Federal MP said he requested the assessment after media scrutiny regarding his travel expenses.

"IPEA has concluded its assessment and claimed that one domestic flight and related Commonwealth car trip totalling about $260 did not meet their guidelines," Mr Christensen said in a statement.

"This was for a flight out of Canberra as parliament had finished, after which I undertook a self-funded private trip to Rome and Israel for Easter, and where I held meetings with the Australian Ambassador to Israel and a member of the Israeli Knesset.

"I maintain that the purpose of that flight was to leave Canberra as parliamentary sittings had concluded."

Mr Christensen said he had saved taxpayers an estimated $4000 by his decision to terminate trips at Brisbane, instead of claiming expenses for flights back to Mackay.

"I have paid IPEA the amount they have asked me to pay, and I voluntarily offered and paid a further amount for flights which were within the rules but about which there may be some public concern," he said.

"I have now paid for flights out of my own pocket which were not only in accordance with the rules but were a result of decisions to terminate flights early which saved taxpayers thousands of dollars."

Mr Christensen said he considered the matter now finalised.

Last year, the federal MP's colleagues dubbed him the "Member for Manila" because of his frequent trips to the Philippines.

In December, Mr Christensen said he was considering legal action after an explosive report published claims regularly attended an adult entertainment bar in the Philippines.

Nine News, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald reported the bar manager of the night spot, Ponytails, which identifies itself as an "adult entertainment service", said Mr Christensen was a regular visitor.

The media outlets claim to have seen documents which suggested Mr Christensen's wife, April Asuncion, was an employee at the Ponytails bar.

Federal police looked into Mr Christensen's trips to South-East Asia during 2017 and 2018, but found no evidence of illegality.


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