Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, said Tony Abbott’s inquiry into parliamentary entitlements will not be independent and is simply another Liberal Party and Labor Party cover up.
Political members of the independent inquiry will include former Labor Speaker of the House Harry Jenkins and former leader of the Liberal Party Brendan Nelson. Other members include David Tune, former Department of Finance Secretary, John Conde, Remuneration Tribal Chief Executive and Linda Nicholls, businesswoman and company director.
Mr Palmer said appointing one former Liberal politician and one former Labor politician to conduct the inquiry does not make it independent and will achieve nothing.
“All of the members of this inquiry are connected to the government and quite sympathetic to politicians,” Mr Palmer said.
“Harry Jenkins held the record for throwing the most people out of parliament before Bronwyn Bishop and he is largely considered to be the second most biased speaker in history.
“Also, John Conde was responsible for giving the Prime Minister a large salary increase, making the Prime Minister’s salary higher than President Obama’s salary.”
Mr Palmer said these are not the right people for an independent inquiry and that he will be lodging a Freedom of Information application in to expense claims of all current and former politicians who are members of the inquiry.
“There has already been six closed door reviews and all of them have been made up of Liberal and Labor people or people holding government appointments,” he said.
“This is just another attempt by Tony Abbott to cover up the issue and have the report completed in six months so people will forget about the issue before the next election.
“For far too long politicians have rorted the system by taking advantage of grey areas with their entitlements and Australians deserve better.
“What is really needed on this issue is an open public inquiry where Australians can put forward their views.
“Australians need to have the opportunity to have their say, not just Liberal and Labor politicians and government appointees.”