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$1.2 million superdraw for Lotto travel junkets

Release From The Green Party

The Lotteries Commission has admitted spending $1.2 million to send commissioners, staff and their wives to international conferences over the past 12 years.

The travel costs were revealed by Internal Affairs Minister Jack Elder following an official information request from Green MP Rod Donald.

The commission has revealed that on top of this year's $95,000 trip to Oslo in Norway, last year $106,000 was spent by the commission on attending a conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Although detailed expenditure of the previous trips to Hungary, Spain, Sweden, USA, Hong Kong, France, Canada, Germany, Argentina, Norway and Australia - Melbourne and Perth - were not revealed, the commission has advised that the cost of each trip was of a similar order to the trips to Norway and Argentina.

"The public will be outraged that the Lotteries gravy train has been running from the very beginning of the organisation. The culture of corporate extravagance is clearly rife," said Mr Donald.

Since at least 1995, all appointed commissioners have been current or former National Party officials.

"Clearly, National Party officials and their spouses have been indulging themselves with overseas junkets out of Lotto profits for at least the past five years," Mr Donald said.

"Tripping off to exotic locations at $100,000 a time is totally unacceptable and highlights the lack of scrutiny of Crown Entities and the need for greater control over them."

Mr Donald said that guidelines for Crown Entities announced by State Services Minister Simon Upton in July did not deal effectively with spending issues such as overseas travel.

"It is not only scandalous that they have rewarded themselves with a $1 million Superdraw for travel, on top of that commissioners, staff and their wives pick up a bonus in the form of airpoints entitling them to even more free travel.

"These extravagant trips show the National Government can't rely on its cronies to exercise the sort of restraint on spending that they are demanding from the rest of the country.

"If Shipley is not prepared to sack these commissioners the least she can do is send them a copy of the code of social responsibility that she has foisted on the rest of us."


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