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Scott Morrison’s Taxpayer Funded Travel

In August of 2022 it was reported that former-Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and his wife, Jenny, had travelled to Japan with an Australian security detail paid for by the Australian taxpayer.

In July Mr. Morrison, having recently flown to Seoul in business class for free at the invitation of the largest newspaper in South Korea, had travelled to Japan to attend the World Opinion Leaders Summit in Tokyo. Mr. Morrison and his wife’s business class flights, accommodation and incidentals for one week were paid for by the Worldwide Support for Development, a group linked to Japanese billionaire, Dr. Handa Haruhisa. Mr. Morrison had declined to comment if he was paid to speak at the event but skipped the first sitting week of Parliament to attend.

Despite Mr. Morrison stating that the trip was “privately funded” and did not involve taxpayers’ money, it was revealed that an advanced team of at least two Australian Federal Police officers travelled to Japan to review security arrangements before then providing protection to Mr. Morrison and his wife during their trip.

Australian taxpayers paid for the accommodation, flights, incidentals and meals for the security detail. Mr. Morrison also later confirmed that he received a speaker’s fee for the event with the amount speculated to be up to $50,000. The revelations came as a result of Mr. Morrison having recently updated his financial interest register to parliament. The new filing also included an update to Mr. Morrison’s formerly dormant family trust being used for “advisory services.”

Labor MP Tony Burke questioned why Mr. Morrison was being paid by the Australian taxpayer when he was not present in parliament:

“I don’t know the full details of why he’s not here…If someone’s being paid to do another job, I’m not sure how they get away with the taxpayers paying them to do this one.”

In 2019 it was revealed that AFP officers were required to join Mr. Morrison and his family for their two family holidays including one to Fiji in June of 2019 and the controversial family holiday to Hawaii during the Black Summer Bushfires. The flights and “luxury” accommodation for the two-person team was assumed to have cost $20,000 for the two trips.

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