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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13892


Mr KEOGH (Burt) (13:57): This morning, right across Australia, families have been rushing to book their next holiday with Helloworld, because it has a heck of a sale going on: pay nothing now, pay nothing later. Unfortunately, for all those kids dreaming of a free trip to Disneyland or couples looking forward to a holiday in Fiji, this was a limited offer—limited to the Liberal Minister for Finance and the Public Service, Senator Cormann, and only offered by the Liberal Party Treasurer, Andrew Burnes. It was a special deal from Liberal donors just for Liberal ministers.

The senator told estimates today that he'd asked to be charged for these flights. That was big of him! Here's some news for Senator Cormann: most people don't have to ask, and most customers don't have the company's CEO on speed dial. If there's an issue with their Facebook, they can't give Mark Zuckerberg a bell; if their flight's delayed, they can't just get Richard Branson on the blower; if their computer keeps crashing, they can't shoot Bill Gates a text and get a new one.

Mr Speaker, this wasn't just a day at Cottesloe Beach. Senator Cormann didn't forget to declare a free bucket and spade. This was multiple flights to Singapore! We all know the minister for finance has had problems counting the numbers in the past, but surely even he can tell the difference between 2,700 and zero? How is it okay for a Liberal minister to get free flights from a Liberal donor while the same donor is bidding for a multimillion-dollar contract from the department that this minister oversees? This stinks. It's not right. And it says everything about what is so wrong with this government. (Time expired)