Taxpayers were billed more than $80,000 to cover the costs of ministers’ accommodation at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, according to a Right to Information request from the state opposition, The Brisbane Times reports.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Games Minister Kate Jones racked up hotel bills of more than $10,000 after staying in the $718-a-night Sheraton Mirage Resort for 14 nights.
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni and his chauffeur relaxed in the $744-a-night Peppers Broadbeach Resort and Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliff stayed in $245-a-night accommodation at The Star.
The premier, her ministers and their staff billed taxpayers $81,313 in total and some ministers have not yet submitted their expenses reports, so this figure looks set to rise.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said the accommodation was booked so state government staff would not have to be driven back and forth along the M1.
“This excessive spending is a kick in the guts for hard-working Queenslanders who are struggling to pay their bills.
“The Palaszczuk Government forces rural mums to drive hundreds of kilometres to give birth, but its Ministers baulk at being driven down the M1 after a day watching sport.”
In addition, 12 of the premier’s staff were lodged in $395-a-night rooms at SeaWorld, according to the LNP RTI documents. A Palaszczuk Government spokeswoman said the premier’s accommodation was decided for her by Games’ officials.
“She along with other heads of state and Games’ officials were put in the same hotel for security reasons,” the spokeswoman said.