Further to Sinclair’s post, a further question to ask is whether these trips by Tim Mathieson were classed as ‘official travel’ and hence the air fares and accommodation paid by the taxpayer. Note this extract from the Department of Finance and Deregulation’s Ministers’ Entitlements Summary:
Note that it states
The term official purposes has not been defined for this entitlement.
Which would mean that if the Prime Minister (or her office) defined these trips as official, Mathieson would receive the travel allowance and free flights. They could argue he was representing the Prime Minister at these events.
SM sent me this photo of two cute pigs named Julia and Tim – I’m not sure which is which.