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Your View: Benefit of the doubt

I HAVE worked with many Members of Parliament over the years and I know how hard they work regardless of the way that the media and others seek to portray them.

The recent travel allowance issue has caused some to highly criticise our country members including our local member Fraser Ellis.

Most people would not even have the courage to go through the preselection and election process. Fraser did.

Once in Parliament, Fraser took up local issues, some of which were controversial like the Mining Bill. Fraser fought on behalf of his constituency despite the fact that it probably did not leave him in favour with the party leadership.

It seems many people are now willing to be mean spirited and accuse him of simply looking to take money he did not deserve. This despite the fact he, like many of the others, followed the rules in place at the time.

If there has been incorrect claiming of travel allowance, why was it not found at the very first payment to the MPs? Is this a reflection on the inefficiency of the public service body supposed to monitor the allowances? In business, if an employee claims for travel incorrectly the answer is no! Surely if any wrongdoing has taken place, the inefficient body administering these allowances which should have been informing members, especially country members, they were incorrect in their claims.

The latest Upper House member was installed about four months ago and the handbook instructing them on allowances was incorrect. Each MP who has been informed they were incorrectly claiming money has paid it back. So how about a bit of true Australian fair  mindedness, and give our local member a bit more consideration and benefit of the doubt in the face of one-sided reporting?

Malcolm Eglinton, Maitland

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  • Comment Link
    Sam Nicholls Wednesday, 05 August 2020 18:39

    He did not follow the rules in place at the time. If there was a fault with the “public service body” as you claim, well that’s the system that the politicians themselves created, as are the rules that were in place, and which he did break.

    As to the brochure...

    When an employee enters his wages, should he consult his contract, the forms he his filling in, or a brochure in the company’s coffee lounge? The rules were stated twice, clearly, on the forms Fraser lodged.



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