PAGE MP Janelle Saffin, left, and Richmond MP Justine Elliot.
PAGE MP Janelle Saffin, left, and Richmond MP Justine Elliot. Jacklyn Wagner

Local pollies rack up plenty of expenses

RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot spent $36,118 on overseas travel in the first six months of 2012.

Details of our Federal politicians' expenses were released as Parliament rose for the summer break last week.

Aside from her overseas travel expenses, Ms Elliot, who is also Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, spent $70,776 on office facilities and $57,387 on office admin costs.

She also racked up $18,819 in car costs and a further $10,190 in travelling allowance in the six months between January 1 and June 30 this year.

Page MP Janelle Saffin was more frugal in some of her expenses.

She notched up $17,188 on overseas travel, $13,676 on car costs and $9,635 on travelling allowance.

Ms Saffin spent $76,921 on office admin costs, which includes the running of both her Grafton and Lismore offices, and a further $40,779 on office facilities.

The expenses figures come as the politician monitoring website Open Australia reports Ms Saffin was more active on the floor of Parliament than her Labor colleague and electoral neighbour.

Over the past year, Ms Saffin spoke in 80 debates, which Open Australia says is "above average" for a Federal politician.

Ms Elliot, by comparison, spoke in only 30 debates during the same period.

Ms Elliot has consistently scored below Ms Saffin in measures of the number of debates she has spoken in. However, she has said her positions within the parliament, as a parliamentary secretary and, during Kevin Rudd's leadership, as a junior minister, meant she was unable to speak on matters not directly relating to her portfolio.



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