Wil­son flies flag for Oz with a $14,000 spend

Great Southern Herald - - Television - Toby Hussey

O’Con­nor MP Rick Wil­son spent al­most $14,000 on flags in three months ear­lier this year — the most of any WA Fed­eral MP dur­ing the same pe­riod.

Re­gional West Aus­tralian Fed­eral MPs are show­ing they are big on flags, with three spend­ing a com­bined to­tal of more than $28,000 on them in three months this year.

Fig­ures from the In­de­pen­dent Par­lia­men­tary Ex­penses Author­ity show three re­gional Lib­eral WA MPs — Mr Wil­son, Melissa Price and Nola Marino, spent heav­ily on flags ear­lier this year.

The three topped the list of ex­penses for WA MPs be­tween Jan­uary 1 and March 31, with Mr Wil­son, the big­gest spender, re­port­edly spend­ing $13,951 on flags in that pe­riod.

The O’Con­nor MP was fol­lowed by Ms Price, whose elec­torate spans from Wyn­d­ham to Cer­vantes, who spent $8317, while South West MP Ms Marino spent $6351.

Pro­vid­ing flags is a re­quire­ment of Fed­eral MPs un­der the Con­stituent Re­quest Pro­gram, through which they pro­vide new Aus­tralian, Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der flags to cit­i­zens, com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions, schools and for ser­vice peo­ple’s fu­ner­als.

Mr Wil­son’s of­fice said the high ex­penses were be­cause of the peak de­mand pe­riod in­clud­ing Aus­tralia Day, An­zac Day, Easter, NAIDOC Week and the be­gin­ning of the school year.

His of­fice said it could not pro­vide fig­ures on how many flags were pur­chased by dead­line.

The top two spent more than dou­ble the mean av­er­age flag ex­pense for WA House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive MPs of $3003 in that pe­riod.

Mr Wil­son has his­tor­i­cally shown en­thu­si­asm for distribut­ing flags, with a 2016 ABC re­port re­veal­ing he billed the third-high­est on flag pur­chases of any Fed­eral MP in Aus­tralia over a six-month pe­riod in 2015.

Mem­ber for O'Con­nor Rick Wil­son spent about $14,000 on flags in three months ear­lier this year.

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