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Someone really hates Canberra

By asp - 20 September 2007 31

Okay, Canberra isn’t the most exciting place in the world. But how much would you spend to get away from it on weekends and when on leave? Probably not $180 000+. Yet our taxpayer funded Mr Peanut dear Prime Minister is spending that much, escaping Canberra for his preferred residence at Kirribilli House in Sydney. Depending on what costs you include, Johnny has spent some $187,550 to as much as $1.6million in 2006 escaping this city on RAAF VIP jets. Had he used Qantas like all his ministers and fellow MPs do, he would have only spent $50,709. Is Canberra really so bad?

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31 Responses to
Someone really hates Canberra
asp 3:36 pm 20 Sep 07

Some have asked if the PM should drive himself. Well, no. But why do so many MPs use ComCars? Hell, the Queen of England as well as numerous countries often drive themselves. In a recent documentary about Windsor Castle, the Queen jumped in the driver’s seat and actually drove the driver and staff. Prince Philip too drives himself. If the very rich and well looked after Royal Family of England can drive themselves around, why can’t MPs. The PM deserves a driver and car, but can the Member for Timbuktu really say he’s so busy, he can’t drive.

asp 3:31 pm 20 Sep 07

“Prime Minister’s jet”

But it’s not. The RAAF maintains an official fleet of VIP aircraft for official use. And the use of these aircraft is not cheap. A large number of the flights are just the pilots returning to Canberra too, which is a tremendous waste of fuel and money.

The other thing is around the world, most leaders stay in the capital. To have a leader who insists on escaping the capital demeans Canberra’s status even more.

Finally, many past PMs have lived at The Lodge in Canberra while in office, if not all before Keating and Howard. Why should this tradition change?

Also, think about the increase and duplication of costs by having a PM who essentially has too capital cities. Advisors and staff must travel between cities. He maintains greater infrastructure in Sydney than past PMs.

Let me be blunt. If the PM spends so much time in Sydney, has the infrastructure in Sydney to do his job without having to be in Canberra and prefers Sydney, why is Canberra still the capital? If business prefers Sydney, the country’s leader prefers Sydney and Sydney hosts major economic and political events while Canberra sits idle (eg. APEC), then why not make Sydney the capital?

mlm 3:07 pm 20 Sep 07

The ~$180k quoted is actually the costs specific to those flights. The cost of the fleet’s existence makes that look like chump change.

shauno 2:58 pm 20 Sep 07

Those costs are a little misleading as a lot of the cost will still be there if the PM uses the planes or not. And In a country as wealthy as us who cares. At least we use modest size business jets and a little 737 instead of a 747 look at me jet.

Avacry 2:41 pm 20 Sep 07

I think all ministers should live and work in their electorate unless parliament is sitting.

Mr Evil 2:29 pm 20 Sep 07

The problem is that since Keating and Howard decided it is okay to flit back and forward between Canberra and Sydney, some PS Dept Heads have taken their lead and are now fliting back and forth between Canberra and elsewhere – at great expense to the taxpayer.

Where do you draw the line?

schmerica_ 2:19 pm 20 Sep 07

It all depends if he waxed his chest or not.

If your prime minister, you should be able to live where you like – as long as you do the job properly. He could live in Alice Springs if he wants. I guess if you have a problem with it… it just plain old sucks to be you.

Mr Evil 2:01 pm 20 Sep 07

“John Howard in spandex? Delicious.”

With oiled up pecs????

I personally think that if you are the PM, then you should live in the Lodge in Canberra. If you don’t want to live here, well don’t run as PM!

hingo_VRCalaisV6 1:57 pm 20 Sep 07

I blame Howa….actually, no I don’t. Being Prime Minister, he is entitled to the Prime Minister’s jet. I’m sure Keating did it and I’m sure Rudd would as well. Plus, its not that he hates Canberra, its that his home is in Sydney. Holy crap, what a lousy bastard for wanting to go home to his family!

If you were Prime Minister, would you want to risk being mobbed by the media and greenie idiots at the airport trying to get on a domestic flight? Come on, we aren’t a third world country here. The next you’ll be saying he should drive himself to Sydney in a clapped out Falcon.

schmerica_ 1:54 pm 20 Sep 07

I think he should ride a bike. Save the whales and all that jazz. John Howard in spandex? Delicious.

el ......VNBerlinaV8 1:51 pm 20 Sep 07

Non story. Yawn.

barking toad 1:48 pm 20 Sep 07

Pretty pathetic effort of Howard bashing

Ralph 1:43 pm 20 Sep 07

So you’re going to baulk at a paltry $1.6 million? He’s the Prime Minister, he can stay where he likes and has unlimited use of a private jet.

Keating used to ferry himself back and forth from Sydney in the RAAF jets as well you know. But I understand, let’s not pass up an opportunity to have an anti-Howard bashing.

I understand that Keating and Hawke also like to jet about at taxpayers’ expense in their leisurely lives these days.

mlm 1:41 pm 20 Sep 07

Actually a number of other ministers (Foreign Minister, Treasurer, Deputy PM etc) and the GG use the VIP fleet as well for varying reasons. I think the Opposition Leader even gets a go during election campaigns.

You’ll find the same story in the News Ltd papers every now and again, presumably as regularly as the figures for jet use are published/tabled in parliament.

Beats writing an original article.

Thumper 1:39 pm 20 Sep 07

Um, he is the Prime Minister.

Rudd can do the same as far as I’m concerned when/ if he gets in.

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