Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Miller's Claim for Union Dinner; MP Defends $1600 Expense

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Miller's Claim for Union Dinner; MP Defends $1600 Expense

Article excerpt

Byline: Lachlan Thompson News Regional Media

DUMPED Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller has defended claiming more than $1600 worth of travel expenses so she could attend a gala dinner with members of the CFMEU.

On July 8, 2015 the Labor member for Bundamba travelled to Sydney with her party colleague Jim Pearce to attend the Miner's Federation Gala Dinner.

Ms Miller spent $1,301.38 on airfares and $315 on meals and accommodation during overnight trip - Mr Pearce did not bill the taxpayer at all.

When it came time to file her claim Ms Miller reported that attending the dinner was both electorate business and directly related to her role in the Queensland Parliament.

As she was the Police Minister at the time Ms Miller was obligated to disclose her activities in her publicly available diary.

The document shows she attended the dinner with representatives from the Mining and Energy division of the CFMEU.

The taxpayer funded jaunt was taken just three months after Ms Miller was forced to field awkward questions about a possible conflict of interest between her role as Police Minister and her links to the Union - which has been the subject of several police investigations.

Ms Miller has always contended the mining division of the CFMEU is not corrupt. The Union's former boss Dave Hanna is facing fraud and seven other corruption-related charges after allegedly receiving free work on his house from construction bosses.

Ms Miller defended the expenses claims, saying her Ipswich electorate had historical links with coal mining.

"Coal miners were members of the union which is today known as the CFMEU (Mining and Energy) Division," Ms Miller said via statement.

"I am also a member of this union as I too worked in the coal mining industry. …

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