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Staggering amount ‘Airbus Albo’ spent overseas travel in three months

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By Charlotte Karp For Daily Mail Australia

07:20 11 Jul 2024, updated 08:22 11 Jul 2024

Anthony Albanese has charged Australian taxpayers a staggering $1million over just three months for everything from international travel to office supplies. 

The Prime Minister, who has been dubbed ‘Airbus Albo’ due to frequent overseas trips, billed Australians a total of $298,899 for overseas jaunts to Asia, the UK, the Middle East, Europe, and the Pacific Islands between October and December 2023.

Records published by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority show one travel claim was a seven-day trip to Malaysia, Fiji, Sri Lanka, US, Singapore, Japan and India for the Australia-India Annual Leaders’ Summit.

Australians picked up the $98,347 bill for the trip, which was held between March 8 and March 15, 2023 but expensed in the final quarter of last year. The bulk of the cost appeared to ground transport, which was worth $48,149 of the overall amount.

Other travel included a $96,712 trip to the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and United Arab Emirates for three separate summits – the ASEAN-Australia Summit, the East Asia Summit, and the G20 Leaders‘ Summit – between August 29 and September 11.

Mr Albanese also rubbed shoulders with US President Joe Biden in October, attended King Charles‘ coronation and the G7 Summit in May, and flew across the ditch to meet up with Jacinda Ardern in July – which cost a combined $28,297.

The expense records also included a mysterious $1000 ‘accident excess’ payment incurred in August under car-related costs.

But the most expensive claim by far was international and domestic travel for 62 of his employees, worth $660,701, while his electorate office in inner-Sydney – which is currently overrun with protesters – cost $30,202 for the October-December quarter.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured with his dog, Toto) charged taxpayers more than $1million in the final quarter of 2023
Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodi Haydon are pictured arriving in Delhi for the G20 Summit in September

Daily Mail Australia revealed on Wednesday that Mr Albanese’s Marrickville office has not been used since January after pro-Palestine protesters set up camp outside.

Staff have been told the office can’t function as it should due to safety reasons.

Australians paid an estimated $70,000 for the unused office in 2024 alone as Mr Albanese refuses to kick the activists off the property.

Mr Albanese’s US trip in October was his ninth since his election win in 2022, and his 19th international trip in 19 months.

‘The relationship between Australia and the United States is so important,’ Mr Albanese told reporters on arrival in Washington.

‘In today’s turbulent world, it is a relationship that provides security, stability, based upon our common values and our position as great democratic nations working together to promote those values throughout the Indo-Pacific and throughout the world.’

He was invited because Mr Biden had previously cancelled a trip to Sydney at the last minute. 

Mr Albanese tried to time his visit to Washington so he could attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco and head to China to meet President Xi Jinping.

Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon are pictured, left, with US President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill
The Prime Minister is pictured, far right, at King Charles’ coronation in May 2023

However, the suggested dates did not fit with the Mr BIden’s schedule so Mr Albanese ended up taking four overseas trips within a month. 

He spent just a few short days at home after the US trip before jetting off again for a historic meeting with President Xi Jinping in China – the first PM since 2016 to do so. 

During his trip to the ASEAN-Australia Summit in September, the Prime Minister pledged almost $100million to boost trade and investment ties with South-East Asia in a bid to reduce Australia’s economic reliance on China.

Other expenses in the final quarter of 2023 included $24,541 for car-related expenses, including the $1000 accident excess on August 2.

Office administration cost $87,532, with $75,243 in printing, along with $12,289 in office supplies – which included $138 on wreaths and $2,439 on three flags.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister told Daily Mail Australia that all Mr Albanese’s claimed expenses were within the rules.

Anthony Albanese attended the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit last year
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese are pictured together during the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, in September

‘The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority has stringent rules,’ the spokesperson said.

‘These rules have been followed at all time.’

Earlier this week, Daily Mail Australia revealed Opposition Leader Peter Dutton billed taxpayers $63,015 for three private jet flights during a two-day cost of living trip to regional towns ‘doing it tough’.

Mr Dutton also charged taxpayers $32,740 for a five-day trip to New Delhi for the India Australia Strategic Alliance summit – on the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other expenses included $36,977 for scheduled transport between major cities, $10,389 in travel allowance for 28 nights, $3848 for car-related expenses, and an eye-watering $116,911 on printing and communication.

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