News

Local MP 'not fussed' over end to perks

Member of the Queensland Parliament for Gladstone Liz Cunningham.
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Gladstone Liz Cunningham. Luka Kauzlaric

GLADSTONE state MP Liz Cunningham isn't worried that she won't get free travel once she leaves office.

Mrs Cunningham, who has not revealed any plans about her future, said she did not enter parliament to pick up "perks".

Her comments came following news that former Queensland MPs would no longer receive extensive travel entitlements, with the age-old practice to be phased out over the next four years.

Travel entitlements for former MPs, including commercial air and rail benefits for their spouses, currently cost Queensland taxpayers $290,000 annually.

It equates to about $2000 per person, for those eligible for the benefits.

But all that is set to change from December 31, 2018.

Ms Cunningham said she was not surprised by the move to remove extensive travel entitlements from MPs once they left State Parliament

"I'm guessing it's come about because the system has been abused in the past by some former members," she said yesterday.

"If people abuse the system it's generally the case that they will lose it.

"A normal person who retires doesn't have any entitlement which carries over for the rest of their life, if it's just a perk.

"If a former member has ongoing responsibilities after leaving parliament, obviously that should be covered."

The Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal, which delivered its latest recommendations yesterday, also tightened up the amount future MPs will receive in severance payments once they leave parliament.

All new MPs elected at the next and future elections will receive a new "transition allowance" of 12 weeks base salary once they leave State Parliament.

Currently MPs severance packages can range from three to six months base salary depending on the number of terms they had served.

Anna Bligh
Anna Bligh Chris Ison

Former Premier Anna Bligh claimed a meagre $151.96 in travel benefits over the past financial year which was a far cry from her colleague, former Leader of the House Judy Spence, who racked up $10,195.76 in taxpayer-funded travel.

Former Labor Minister Henry Palaszczuk, father of current Labor Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, ran up $10,728.10 in travel over the past year, the highest of any former MP.

Tribunal chair Professor Tim Brailsford said all former MPs had been consulted about the changes.

"Most former MPs argued a strong case to have the current arrangement stay in place," he said.

"A minority of them understood times had changed.

"A number of former MP submissions commented that the intrinsic value of the travel entitlements was symbolic as it recognised the contribution of former MPs beyond the economic value of the benefits."

A former MP, whose identity was protected, said in their submission to the tribunal the travel benefits were modest and should be retained.

"My view is that as a MP certain conditions were granted to members upon their retirement and ... conditions should not be changed to those members affected."

2012-13 TRAVEL

  • The average cost for former MP travel (commercial air and rail) was $2116 excluding GST based on 138 eligible former MPs
  • Only 11 former MPs chose not to accept any travel entitlement
  • Fifty-eight former MPs received travel entitlements where the cost was less than $300 per individual
  • Sixteen former MPs, or 11% of those eligible, claimed travel entitlements more than $5000

Topics:  liz cunningham politics queensland government travel entitlements



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

Garbage truck load catches fire in ALDI car park

WHAT A FLAMING LOAD OF GARBAGE: Two fire crews were called to the scene.

What a flaming load of garbage.

Dodgy car rental deal lands Gladstone man in court

FILE PHOTO: 2012 Holden Commodore SV6.

Deal with mate goes wrong after car reported stolen

Jan's family celebrates 80 years in style

BIRTHDAY GIRL: Jan Stiller (centre, front) celebrated her 80th birthday with a small lunch surrounded by her family.

Jan Stiller says she's "not a socialite”, but her family insisted.

Local Partners

Better phone service for Gladstone's regional towns

Telstra: "This technology is delivering big benefits to these rural and regional communities”


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

New tool reveals which areas are most 'vulnerable' for renters

An aerial shot of Agnes Water main beach. According to new information, people renting in the region are more vulnerable than those in Gladstone suburbs.

Big differences between living in Gladstone and outer areas

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!