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PM's announced entitlement reforms closely resemble bill introduced by Nick Xenophon in 2015



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ABOUT BLOODY TIME  PM's announced entitlement reforms closely resemble

bill introduced by Nick Xenophon in 2015

Senator Nick Xenophon welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement earlier today of an

independent watchdog for politicians' entitlements, saying that the details to date "mirror the

very bill I introduced into the Parliament in September 2015".

Senator Xenophon introduced a bill on politicians' work expenses in late 2015, following the Bronwyn Bishop 'Choppergate' saga. The Bill provided for:

 An independent watchdog to administer claims  Monthly disclosures of all MPs and Senators expenses published online  The right of the public to make a complaint to the watchdog  Tougher penalties for wrongful claims, at least double the amount to be paid back for first

time offenders, and four times for repeat offenders

"Obviously I welcome the PM's announcement in that it has picked up many elements of the bill I introduced back in 2015 -- which the major parties didn't support because they thought it was unnecessary at the time. My how times change," said Nick.

"The devil is in the detail. This must have real teeth with significant financial penalties for MPs that transgress. Only that way will we see the cultural shift and change in behaviour that will hopefully begin to restore trust in politicians."

Senator Xenophon also questioned whether there should be broader representation within the watchdog and proposed including a lay-person as representative of broader community interests.

"Ultimately this legislation has to put into practice what is commonly known as 'the pub test'. If it does not, then the corrosive impact on our democracy of these entitlements scandals will continue to eat away at public confidence in the political system."

For further details please contact (preferably by text) Nick Xenophon on 0411

626 677 or Royce on 0433 620 850.