Taxpayers forked out thousands to fund a trip Peter Dutton took on a private jet to speak at an event addressing the cost of living crisis. 

The Federal Opposition Leader racked up a $23,000 bill when he flew from Canberra to Tamworth in last August to attend the Bush Summit, an annual event held by NewsCorp to discuss issues affecting rural communities.

Mr Dutton was a guest speaker at the event where he slammed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's handling the cost of living crisis. 

He told attendees that the Coalition focus was to 'hold the government to account' on the issue.

The expense was revealed by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA), a government run website that tracks the work expenses of parliamentarians. 

It was established in January 2017 by then- prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The latest figures for political expenses released by the IPEA detailed expenses for the July to September 2023 quarter. 

The flight Mr Dutton took to Tamworth was listed as 'unscheduled commercial transport'. 

The expense was classified under 'parliamentary duties' and the flight was categorised as a 'non-commercial airline' and 'non-air sector'. 

Mr Dutton also claimed the expense for a commercial flight from Tamworth to Sydney, before he flew home from Sydney to Brisbane the same day. 

The total cost for these flights was $1,259.57. 

Mr Dutton is understood to have had a prior commitment in Canberra, which meant he couldn't take a commercial flight to be able to attend the event in time, The Guardian reported.

A spokesperson for Mr Dutton's office said in a statement he took the trip in his capacity as the Federal Opposition Leader. 

'Mr Dutton did travel on a chartered aircraft from Canberra to Tamworth only, under his entitlement as leader of the opposition,' the spokesperson said. 

Daily Mail Australia contacted Mr Dutton's office for further comment.

According to the figures released by IPEA, Mr Dutton took six trips during the July-September 2023 quarter using 'unscheduled commercial transport' at a total cost of $199,694. 

The transportation expense category covers expenses for trips made using charted jets and long taxi fares.

Among the travel expenses Mr Dutton incurred under this category included a trip from Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, to Archerfiled in Brisbane on May 18, at a cost of $45,970. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spent the most out of any parliamentarian during the same quarter and incurred expenses that totalled $911,708.

This included $646,970 in employee travel and $161,259 in international travel.

Major airlines Qantas and Virgin operate flights every week from Canberra to Tamworth with a connecting flight from Sydney.

Mr Albanese also attended at last year's Bush Summit in Tamworth.

But the cost of his flights on government funded VIP jets don't appear on the IPEA website due to security reasons.

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2024-06-13T11:48:02Z dg43tfdfdgfd