MP pays in­ter­net bill back

Herald Sun - - NEWS - ROB HAR­RIS

AS­SIS­TANT Trea­surer Stu­art Robert will pay back al­most $38,000 that he had charged tax­pay­ers to cover his un­usu­ally high in­ter­net bills.

The con­tro­ver­sial MP — pre­vi­ously dumped from the front bench in 2016 for breach­ing min­is­te­rial rules dur­ing a 2014 trip to China — con­firmed he had re­paid the money via Twit­ter yes­ter­day.

He had pre­vi­ously blamed “con­nec­tiv­ity is­sues” at his home for the high cost.

“Re­gard­ing in­ter­net ex­pen­di­ture — I’ve im­me­di­ately re­payed [sic] a full amount of $37,975 that re­flects ex­cess us­age charges un­der the Fi­nance De­part­ment’s ap­proved plan,” he said.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son — a close po­lit­i­cal ally — had or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion last week into why Mr Robert had slugged tax­pay­ers up to $2800 a month for in­ter­net at his home on Queens­land’s Gold Coast.

Spe­cial Min­is­ter of State Alex Hawke said yes­ter­day he had been ad­vised the fi­nance de­part­ment signed off on Robert’s in­ter­net con­nec­tion. “Due to the lo­ca­tion of his res­i­dence, Mr Robert was only able to ac­cess mo­bile broad­band ser­vices with lim­ited monthly down­load ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” Mr Hawke said in a state­ment.

He said that, de­spite the plan be­ing ap­proved, the high ex­cess data charges had “un­der­stand­ably caused con­cern”. Records showed Mr Robert charged tax­pay­ers more than $11,000 for home data over a six-month pe­riod, an av­er­age of $1846 a month for in­ter­net us­age.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.