Embattled Labor backbencher Emma Husar has asked the Parliamentary Expenses Authority to review her use of travel entitlements amid suggestions she used taxpayer funds to attend a Bruno Mars concert.
Ms Husar, who is under investigation over bullying and misconduct allegations, skipped the second day of an NDIS committee hearing in Cairns to travel to Brisbane to attend the March 14 concert.
According to publicly available travel records, Ms Husar spent $114 on “car costs” in Brisbane that same day, but it is unclear at this stage whether she claimed travel allowance.
Ms Husar maintains “no work expenses were used to attend a concert” but said she had asked the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority [IPEA] to “double-check”.
“I take the use of taxpayers’ money extremely seriously,” she said on Twitter.
Tweet from Emma Husar: “To be abundantly clear, no work expenses were used to attend a concert. Was in Cairns on 14 March to attend a day-long committee hearing on the NDIS. On 15 March, I had two meetings in Brisbane with two organisations to discuss domestic violence policy issues.”
Tweet from Emma Husar: “The concert tickets were a birthday present from a friend. Confident I’ve always acted within the rules but have asked IPEA to double-check and review as I take the use of taxpayers’ money extremely seriously.”
Ms Husar said the concert tickets were a birthday present and that she had two meetings lined up in Brisbane for the following day, “with two organisations to discuss domestic violence policy issues”.
Several MPs have told the ABC it is very unusual for a politician to travel for committee work and not attend the full schedule of hearings.
Ms Husar has taken personal leave after it was revealed she was under investigation by the New South Wales Labor branch, over claims she bullied and verbally abused several of her former staff.
Buzzfeed News first reported the allegations, suggesting Ms Husar had been responsible for harassment, intimidation and demanding staff to carry out personal duties.
Since news became public, a series of damaging stories have emerged about Ms Husar, causing some to question whether she will lose preselection for her marginal Western Sydney seat of Lindsay.
Last week, Channel Seven revealed footage of one of Ms Husar’s staff members walking her dog and picking up after it.
The Australian also revealed she had been accused of using parliamentary entitlements to buy household groceries including toilet paper.