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EYE-BALL Guru on – Foreign Minister Bob Carr & Wife – “An Australian Asset” –

October 25, 2012
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Title:
– Foreign Minister Bob Carr & Wife –
– An Australian asset  –
| Author: EYE-BALL Guru | 25th Oct 2012 |
Astory released by ‘The Age’ today covered the overseas expenses accredited to Bob Carr’s wife in the eight of nine trips in which she has accompanied him since he became Foreign Minister in March/April 2012.

The expense contribution amounts to $123,000 and if one was to ponder that expense further – one might ask who approved the expenditure?

‘The Age’ story appears below:

Carr’s wife travels at taxpayers’ expense


| Author:  Adam Gartrell, AAP Diplomatic Correspondent | Date: Oct 25th 2012 | Link to On-Line Story. |

AAP

Bob Carr’s wife Helena has accompanied him on almost every overseas trip he has made as foreign minister, costing taxpayers about $120,000 in mostly business class airfares in just six months.

Documents released under Freedom of Information laws show Mrs Carr travelled with her husband on eight of the nine trips he took in the months between late March and early September.

The arrangement is highly unusual for a foreign minister. AAP understands Senator Carr’s Labor predecessors Stephen Smith and Kevin Rudd rarely if ever took their wives on official overseas trips.

But Senator Carr has defended the arrangement, saying the cost is “absolutely justified” because his wife is an “asset to Australia”.

“I’m proud that Helena has accompanied me on every trip I’ve done. Because while I’m talking to the foreign minister, she’s inspecting aid projects, or talking to groups of women,” he told reporters.

“It’s very, very good that Helena has been there with me.”

Senator Carr said it had also been an “advantage” to be accompanied by a Malaysian wife of Indian and Chinese descent as he lobbied for Australia’s spot on the United Nations Security Council.

The total cost of Senator Carr’s nine trips was an estimated $828,754, the documents obtained by AAP show.

Of that, Mrs Carr’s airfares – the vast majority of which were business class – accounted for an estimated $123,928.

Her meals and incidentals cost a further estimated $8000.

The figures come from pre-travel estimates provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to Senator Carr’s office.

A spokesman for Senator Carr conceded the figures were “pretty close” to the actual costs.

The spokesman said Senator Carr and his office had always followed the relevant ministerial guidelines and all of Mrs Carr’s travel had been approved by the prime minister’s office.

Those guidelines say ministers are “generally not accompanied on official overseas travel by his or her spouse or de facto partner”. But exceptions are made when host countries have extended an invitation to the spouse and where an official program of engagements has been arranged.

“It’s by no means a holiday. You have a full day,” the spokesman told AAP.

Destinations do include countries to which Australia gives aid, including Cambodia, Burma and the Solomon Islands.

But they also include repeated visits to the US and the UK, and visits to wealthy Asian nations like Singapore and Japan.

The documents do not include the trip Senator Carr took to New Zealand before he was sworn in, or any of his travel in the past seven weeks. It is believed Mrs Carr accompanied her husband most of that time.

The only trip listed in the documents that Mrs Carr did not go on was a 24-hour visit her husband made to Fiji – at a steep cost of more than $42,000.

For that trip, Senator Carr took a special purpose aircraft at a cost of about $35,000 rather than fly commercially.

Senator Carr’s spokesman said he opted for the private plane because he had to be back in Canberra for pre-budget cabinet meetings and commercial schedules were not suitable.

Overall, Senator Carr is spending more days abroad than Kevin Rudd, who was sometimes called Kevin 747.

One could make a case that since Julia Gillard appointed Bob Carr from obscurity serving penance for the mess he left NSW in after serving as NSW Premier for a decade or more, Mr Carr has become highest spending Senator on record. Every other Foreign Minister served in the HOR, and Mr Carr folding probably the fourth most important position in Government behind, the PM, The Speaker and the Treasurer. The GG is probably above him as well.

None the less – this magnitude of Bob Carr’s $1 million expenditure with the recent UN Security Council trips to be added to the $828k total, he has to have the best travelers job in the world. First class all the way, dining with royalty where ever he goes and his wife gets to tag along as bed comfort or some other vital ‘Australian asset’.

What does Bob Carr mean when he justifys the expenditure when he says as quoted from above –

But Senator Carr has defended the arrangement, saying the cost is “absolutely justified” because his wife is an “asset to Australia”.

“I’m proud that Helena has accompanied me on every trip I’ve done. Because while I’m talking to the foreign minister, she’s inspecting aid projects, or talking to groups of women,” he told reporters.

“It’s very, very good that Helena has been there with me.”

Senator Carr said it had also been an “advantage” to be accompanied by a Malaysian wife of Indian and Chinese descent as he lobbied for Australia’s spot on the United Nations Security Council.

Does it mean she was able to do the job he could not … or that her language skills allowed him to communicate with counterparts … I have no problem if she is essential and if so why is she not on the Government payroll …

Come on Bob – your were semi retired after the NSW Premier job – you don’t need the money after you receive the NSW Premier’s pension … if the job is that important to you stand up and had back the money attributed to your wife’s expenditure.

Foreign Ministers before you only took their wives on overseas trips on special occasions … if it was a condition granted so you would take the job when Gillard asked – tell the Australian public else you will be crucified in the press on this. A million spent in some seven months … you seem to be well ahead of Peter Slipper’s class when it comes to travel rorts …


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The EYE-BALL Guru …

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    November 15, 2012 at 3:15 am

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  2. Justin L
    December 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    This Carr joker is yesterday’s man recycled to make up the numbers within the worst, indeed rotten labor/greens/turncoat minority socialist government we have sadly had the misfortune to have here milking the rorted Aussie taxpayer since Federation in 1901. Not one of them would I feed. Just utterly incompetent, out of touch useless damned people that are unemployable in my view. Even Carr – he sat on his damned hands for 10 years as NSW so called premier. A recycled has been indeed. The irreparable mess these stooges have made is of course beyond redemption. The poor damned rorted Australian taxpayer picks up the tab every time thanks to these damned fools.

  3. Justin L
    January 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    This Conroy joker is no different to the bi-polar lady. They come out with rambling nonsense for the occasion to support the worst damned temporary labor party/slime greens/useless independents minority socialist government of utter damned failure we have ever had in our beloved country, Australia. Just wanton liars, cheats and knuckleheads and there are truckloads of evidence to support this view. This lot, including her so called cabinet of ‘capable women’ ought to be publicly flogged for their abject wanton incompetence, lies and stuff ups ad infinitum. Just useless damned unemployable people who should have never, ever been allowed to enter Australian politics. Look at the utterly disgraceful mess these people have made right across the three cardinal areas of ‘government’ in our beloved country Australia, i.e administration, finance and ‘policyeee’. Abject stuff ups daily across each of these critical areas. And yet the ginger ninja has the hide to say she is rearing ready to go to ‘fight’ at the national election. This ginger ninja is such a liar she could not fight her way ought of a wet paper bag. A dunce, a fool and a demonstrated incompetent, useless woman indeed. And the proofs are there, laid out, accessible for all to see. I encourage every Aussie voter to boot this creep and her comrades with a vengeance come the national election. John Howard must be laughing his head off on the one hand and deeply commiserating on the other for the disgraceful mess this Gillard/Rudd pair of utter failures have made of our beloved country, Australia. Amen.

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