Pauline Hanson: Pollies who rort must be fined, punished
THE flames of public anger have already engulfed one Federal Minister and threaten to raze the reputations of many others who dig too deeply into the taxpayer's pocket for bogus or bizarre travel claims.
And among those fanning the flames is One Nation Leader and Senator Pauline Hanson.
Speaking on Queensland's Sunshine Coast after recruiting LNP MP Steve Dickson to join One Nation, Senator Hanson demanded major fines and forced repayments of claims if wrongdoing was uncovered.
"I'm disgusted with it, I really am," she told reporters.
"I think the whole lot (of politicians) should be investigated going back five years.
"If they have abused the system, they pay back the money but as I said, heavily fined."
She said they deserved to be fined "three to four times" what they claimed as punishment, on top of repaying the initial amount.
"You start hitting people in the hip pocket, then they start to realise they can't do it."
Her comments come as Health Minister Sussan Ley was forced out of the Cabinet for consistently claiming exorbitant travel entitlements, including two trips to the Gold Coast for successive New Year's Eve parties.
Meanwhile another Coalition Minister -- this time Trade Minister Greg Hunt -- has come under pressure after revelations he spent more than $20,000 in taxpayer funds on a dozen trips to Queensland holiday resorts, including those in Noosa.
Senator Hanson said she was "quite well paid" and had access to staff and a vehicle - although she said she is yet to use a COMCAR in Queensland.
"I'm quite happy with what I've got," she said.
"When you have to actually dip your snout into the trough more when others are struggling, and people out there don't get the lurks and perks as what we do - I don't believe the system is right."
Senator Hanson added that former Prime Ministers should have their lifetime entitlements cancelled.
"A lot of these people have been voted out of Parliament," she said.
"The people didn't want them anymore.
"They get a pay packet plus office plus staff plus gold card plus COMCAR. Why are they still on this? They shouldn't be."
The flame-haired party leader said she only flies economy, drives herself to the airport when travelling and parks "in the cheapest car park spot".
"I call for accountability."
The One Nation leader also lashed a journalist who asked her to explain her use of travel entitlements, given she was using them to "promote your party" across Queensland.
"The state is my electorate," she said.
"I have been up there fighting for the Canegrowers, the Indigenous and the 23 farming families who are going to lose their property due to Singaporeans and have noone else to listen to them."
"Don't tell me that I'm travelling the state campaigning.
"My job is to represent the people."