Public-funded VIP jets cost Australian taxpayers $600k from July to December 2015

By @mik_mapa on
australian air force jet
The Australian air force jet with Britain's Prince William, his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their son Prince George aboard departs Wellington, April 16, 2014. Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate are undertaking a 19-day official visit to New Zealand and Australia. Reuters/Anthony Phelps

Publicly funded RAAF jets cost Australian taxpayers a $600,000 bill from July to December 2015 for picking up and dropping off federal politicians. The politicians flew without passengers on 107 occasions. 

Many plane tickets cost a five-figure price with $18,400 as the highest priced plane ticket. The 18k-worth plane ticket was used by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and partner David Panton for their Canberra to Perth flight. Bishop also used the jet plane for her Perth to Canberra flight which cost $15,100. 

Another Canberra to Perth cost $18,000 was recorded. The empty flight flew to Perth to bring back government frontbenchers Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Social Service Minister Porter to be sworn into Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's first ministers in September 2015. 

In November 2015, the jet flew empty to collect Senator Cormann, Andrew Hastie, Senator Chris Back, Steve Irons and Senator Linda Reynolds. The jet flew across the Nullarbor with a price tag of $16,700. On the return trip, the RAAF crew members offered wine, craft beers, gourmet hot meals and heated towels to the MPs, staffers and occasionally, spouses.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott used the plane for his week-long visit to the Torres Strait. It cost $15,900 for his Horn Island to Canberra flight. 

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, wife Natalie and media adviser took the Mackay to Canberra flight which cost $9,600. They went to Canberra for a portfolio announcement. 

Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss used the plane to charter a flight to Karratha. It cost $8,800 for Canberra to Longreach flight. 

The cheapest among the released flight price was $2,900. It was a Melbourne to Canberra flight. Former Treasurer Joe Hockey was dropped off at Melbourne along with advisers for a PricewaterhouseCoopers forum. The plane was sent back empty to Canberra.

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