Media Releases

Morrison must take action on George Christensen as fresh Philippines information emerges

April 18, 2019

Scott Morrison must take action today over the Member for Dawson, George Christensen, and his apparent use of taxpayer funds to support his 300 days of personal travel to the Philippines.
This latest saga leaves Scott Morrison with no other choice than to call on the Member for Dawson to repay his apparent use of taxpayer funds to support his personal travel to the Philippines without delay.
This comes on top of reports that suggest that between 2015 and 2018 Mr Christensen appears to have strategically placed newspaper advertisements in the Mackay Daily Mercury in an apparent attempt to disguise his absence from the Dawson electorate.
The most concerning is a newspaper advertisement from 13 April 2017 – in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie – that appears to give the impression that Mr Christensen was on the ground contributing to the local recovery efforts.
In reality, Mr Christensen was over 5,000 kilometres away in the Philippines. Even if Mr Christensen has abided by the rules when it comes to his taxpayer-funded communications allowance, he needs to explain why he placed these ads when he did so.
It’s one thing for Mr Christensen to abandon his electorate for 300 days in four years, but it doesn’t pass the pub test if he has used taxpayer dollars to distract people in Dawson from his personal jaunts to the Philippines.
Mr Christensen:

  • spent nearly 300 days overseas between 2014 and 2018, prompting his own LNP colleagues to label him 'the Member for Manila';
  • abandoned his electorate by travelling overseas only two weeks after it was devastated by Cyclone Debbie in 2017;
  • spent more than $3,000 of taxpayers’ money to subsidise his own private trips to the Philippines; and
  • failed to justify the estimated $82,505 he received over a four-year period while missing in action overseas. 

If Scott Morrison fails to act today over his part-time Member of Parliament, Mr Christensen, he simply has no authority over his divided and chaotic government.