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Public-servant flights

General Transport Discussion not specific to one state

Public-servant flights

Postby Roderick Smith » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:24 pm


July 20 2017 'Reeks of hypocrisy': most popular public service flight routes revealed .
Public servants took nearly 7000 flights between Australia, Port Moresby and Manus Island in the 2015-16 financial year, part of more than $10m in government travel related to immigration detention.
New figures from the whole of government travel bill show the most popular flight route for public servants was Canberra to Sydney, flown 176,916 times while Sydney to Los Angeles topped international travel, flown more than 3150 times in the period.
Federal government departments spent $427 million on travel in 2016. Photo: Peter Braig .
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon accused the Turnbull government of misusing public money, calling out 6981 flights between Australia and the Papua New Guinea mainland and from Port Moresby and Manus Island.
There were nearly 3000 flights from the PNG capital to Manus, currently home to about 800 men in immigration limbo.
Senator Lee Rhiannon says the government spends too much on air travel. Photo: Daniel Munoz .
A further 4000 flights took place between Port Moresby and Brisbane and Cairns, many from other parts of the government and unrelated to immigration.
Flights to Port Moresby, Manus and Christmas Island cost taxpayers $10.59 million in 2015-16.
Spending within the government's centralised travel system cost taxpayers half a billion dollars 2015-16, topped by the Defence Department with $155 million in costs for domestic and international flights.
The Immigration Department's travel costs totalled $36.5 million, less than the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which spent $37.51 million.
Travel between Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne consistently tops the most flown routes, while there were about 42,000 flights between Brisbane and Townsville and 38,000 between Adelaide and Canberra in the period.
The most flown overseas routes included Sydney to major international connection hubs of Los Angeles, Singapore and Dallas/Fort Worth.
There were nearly 2000 flights between each of Sydney and Bangkok, Melbourne and Dubai and Melbourne and Singapore.
The Perth to Christmas Island route fell from the top 10 most flown routes in 2015-16.
Established in July 2010, the public service-wide system makes the federal government the largest spender on air travel in Australia, ahead of miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, the big four banks and the country's largest consulting firms.
Not included in the figures are the massive travel costs for members of Parliament, government ministers and their staff.
Senator Rhiannon used Senate estimates hearing to grill Finance Department officials about government travel costs. Since coming to government, the Coalition has sought to reduce spending on travel.
"This is another example of the Turnbull government misusing public money," she said.
"Most people would be critical of the steep rise in travel costs as it certainly does not represent value for money.
The NSW Green challenged the Coalition to do more to rein in excessive public service travel and perks.
"This government is fond of telling people they need to tighten their belts, but is allowing its travel costs to balloon out with thousands of flights a year to Manus Island, which has become synonymous with abuse of asylum seekers," she said.
"This reeks of hypocrisy. It is another example of how far this government is out of step with community expectations."
Official guidelines for taxpayer-funded travel require public servants to "book like a private traveller", seek less flexible fares, and buy only the cheapest ticket that suits the "practical business needs of the traveller".
This week Fairfax Media reported running Australia's offshore immigration detention program has cost the federal government at least $5 billion since 2012.
Top 5 domestic routes
Canberra - Sydney: 176,916 trips
Canberra - Melbourne: 164,584 trips
Brisbane - Canberra: 82,294 trips
Melbourne - Sydney: 73,813 trips
Brisbane - Sydney: 61,328 trips
Top 5 international routes
Sydney - Los Angeles: 3159 trips
Sydney - Singapore: 2850 trips
Port Moresby - Manus Island: 2694 trips
Sydney - Dallas/Fort Worth: 2633
Brisbane - Port Moresby: 2366
www.canberratimes.com.au/national/publi ... xeyd6.html
Roderick Smith
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Re: Public-servant flights

Postby Roderick Smith » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:15 pm

Taxpayers fork out $350K on empty VIP planes to collect government ministers.
Sydney 'Sunday Telegraph' August 13, 2017.
TAXPAYERS picked up the $350,000 bill to send empty VIP jets to collect Government ministers in one six-month period last year.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the RAAF 30-seat VIP planes flew without passengers on more than 50 occasions in a six-month period to collect members of Malcolm Turnbull’s frontbench instead of them taking commercial flights.
The special-purpose flights documents reveals the domestic “ghost flight’’ trips cost up to $18,833 to fly the plane across the Nullarbor without passengers to collect West Australian-based ministers including Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Defence Minister Marise Payne.
The plane flew empty to WA to collect Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas As well as Defence Minister Marise Payne. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas The most expensive charter flight cost taxpayers $43,106 to take the empty VIP plane from Canberra to Shanghai to ferry staff and journalists back to Australia following a Mr Turnbull first official visit China in April 2016.
In March 2016, the empty VIP flew from Canberra to Melbourne at a cost of $4604 to collect Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and fly him to Tamworth at a cost of $5441.
The plane then returned to Canberra without any passengers at a cost of $4185.
In May 2016, the RAAF plane flew from Canberra to Adelaide with no passengers at a cost of $7115 to collect Education minister Simon Birmingham and one staff member.
The plane then flew to Sydney at a cost of $6278 to drop off the pair before returning to Canberra without any passengers at a cost of $2093.
In the six months to June 2016, the VIP plane flew between Sydney and Canberra without passengers 25 times at an average cost of $2500 to collect ministers and their staff.
A standard domestic fare for the same route costs between $150 and $300.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was flown to Tamworth, then the plane returned without passengers, setting taxpayers back almost $10,000. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas The RAAF operates five “special purpose aircraft” from the Fairbairn air base in Canberra.
The VIP service is meant to be available to ministers when a commercial airline seat is not a viable option, but the Defence Minister authorises the travel.
Once on-board, Ministers, their staff and family members are treated to hot meals, wine, cocktails and Wi-Fi on the VIP charter service.
The total cost of empty VIP flights from January to June 2016 was significantly less than the $600,000 taxpayers forked out for empty VIP plane trips in the previous six-months.
But the Government document does not including the cost of VIP planes used to ferry the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader around Australia during the 55-day election campaign which kicked off in early May.
February 2016: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce — Mackay/Canberra $8,789 February 2016: Finance Minister Mathias Cormann — Canberra/Perth $18,833 March 2016: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull — Canberra/Melbourne $2,930 March 2016: Education Minister Simon Birmingham — Canberra/Adelaide $6,278 March 2016: Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg — Canberra/Barrow Island $20,925 April 2016: Defence Minister Marise Payne — Canberra/Perth $18,414 April 2016: Prime Ministerial staff — Canberra/Shanghai $43,106 May 2016: Education Minister Simon Birmingham — Canberra/Adelaide $7,115 May 2016: Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion — Alice Springs/Canberra $10,044 www.heraldsun.com.au/news/taxpayers-for ... 6d7328bc0e
Roderick Smith
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