Llew O'Brien - federal coalition candidate for Wide Bay.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Llew O'Brien - federal coalition candidate for Wide Bay.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

O'Brien's Gympie to Brissy limo claims

WHEN Llew O'Brien flies down to Canberra to sit in Parliament he orders a chauffeur-driven Comcar to take him between his Chatsworth home and Brisbane Airport.

The National Party MP for Wide Bay's office has defended eight expenses claims made for car services, in the last six months of 2017, which totalled $3990.

A spokesman said Mr O'Brien doesn't make the two-hour trip in his taxpayer funded electorate car because sometimes he leaves it behind for his staffers.

He stressed that Mr O'Brien flies economy to minimise the burden on taxpayers.

"There's no airport in the Wide Bay electorate which offers commercial services," the spokesman said before he was asked why Mr O'Brien doesn't drive himself.

"I guess that could be a possibility there are occasions where Mr O'Brien leaves his electorate vehicle with his staff members to use," the spokesman replied.

"I just did the calculations on the cost differences between business class and economy air fares, based on advice from FCM the government's travel contractor. For Parliament sittings this year, business class airfares for return travel between Brisbane and Canberra would be $32,436 whereas economy is $11,900, saving more than $20,000.

"But it's certainly within the rules for Mr O'Brien to use a either ComCar or a car and driver service between his home and Brisbane airport to attend parliamentary sittings in Canberra."

Over the period in question Mr O'Brien claimed $4562.14 for a private plated car to be funded by the taxpayer.

He also claimed $20,787.96 for office facilities and $5791.16 worth of office administration costs.

In terms of flights Mr O'Brien claimed $2798.29 worth of air travel and he claimed $10,341 worth of accommodation in Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney and Noosaville.

It's understood the Noosaville claim came about due to evening and morning events coinciding,

Claims for accommodation in Brisbane and Sydney were to facilitate meetings, the spokesman said.

He said some vehicles in the Commonwealth fleet could be described as limousines, others could be described as sedans, or people movers.

"It just depends on the vehicle that is dispatched by Comcar reservations. Llew doesn't make a request for a particular vehicle type when we make the booking."