Asking the AFP for answers

Posted: July 20, 2015 in Ranting
Tags: , , , , ,

a copy of my email to Commission Colvin of the AFP

Dear Commissioner Colvin

I am writing with some considerable concern with respect to the Australian Federal Police refusal to investigate financial matters regarding the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop.

The AFP set a dangerous precedent by electing to pursue an investigation and charge former Speaker Peter Slipper over financial irregularities but in the matter of Speaker Bishop, has simply referred them back to the Department of Finance for processing under the Minchin Protocols.

The matter unsuccessfully pursued against Slipper was that of fraud. However if it can be shown that Bishop wrongfully claimed travel including charter of a helicopter to attend party fundraising activities which are outside of approved areas of expenditure, then surely the question of fraud has to be asked again?

Professor Allan Fels who held a position on the Parliamentary Entitlements Review Committee including the Committee’s review of Member Entitlements in 2010, has now been reported in the media stating quite clearly that travel to party functions is outside of allowable expenditure and that “it is well understood” ie it was reasonable to expect Speaker Bishop to have known so. Former Treasurer Peter Costello, party and foemer parliamentary colleague of Bronwyn Bishop has also been widely reported in criticising the actions of Ms Bishop as being outside of allowable expenditure. It should also be noted that Ms Bishop’s story about being in Melbourne on official business during the helicopter affair now seems to have been retracted, adding even more concerns over her honesty in this matter and thus the increasingly questionable nature of her expenditure claims.

In light of the growing concerns about this issue, it seems more than reasonable that Ms Bishop’s probity be questioned and her actions investigated, especially noting the great amount of legislative, constitutional and public trust embodied in the position of Speaker and further noting Ms Bishop’s refusal to disclose any relevant documentation to the House of Representatives. I would also note that the fact that an investigation is being undertaken by the Department of Finance under what is merely a set of guidelines and without any force of law, is hardly a reason for pursuit of lawful concerns to be unnecessarily delayed.

I can only hope that the Australian Federal Police is not being politicised as has the Australian Public Service, and a proper investigation is commenced without delay.

Yours sincerely


Ross Hamilton

  1. Owen says:

    I agree with Ross the whole trip should be investigated from point of origin until point of return and include costs for the complete trip!..Also Bronwyn will be going to Sale next week to meet with Business people to discuss networking.. I have a problem linking her reason for attendance as she is not the Business Minister, Communication Minister,or the Finance Minister Her role is speaker in the House of Parliament..Business networking Really?? Is this another unnecessary Taxpayer funded trip???

  2. Owen says:

    I hope for her sake she can at least chair a meeting! On her next trip Stop the LNP waste! This day and age of video conferencing and associated costs our great NBN (cough)should make the need for travel a lot less than in past decades…..I don’t see a handshake as a good
    reason for Travel!

  3. […] Posted: July 20, 2015 in Ranting Tags: AFP, Australian Federal Police, australian federal politics, Bronwyn Bishop, fraud, Peter Slipper 2 […]

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