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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1277


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (19:19): I thank the minister for his response. I just want to make this observation and perhaps put just one short question to the minister in relation to that. The minister acknowledges that there is a penalty, a 25 per cent penalty, for a claim. He is right that, if there is more transparency, public disclosure and, I guess, embarrassment if an MP or a senator makes a claim that is a wrongful claim, for want of a better word, that too is a sanction in itself. But I ask the minister this: does the minister concede that, where a claim has been made that ought not to have been made, there are expenses involved and there ought to be some level of user pays, in a sense, for the extra work that the department does—that public servants do—to deal with the mess of a claim? It can often be more than the 25 per cent uplift in relation to the penalty that is imposed that is contemplated at the moment.