Mate, using Govt machinery to watch a Test match is no sin

Published: Friday, June 27, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has defended his use of a Government VIP aircraft to take his sons to watch a Test cricket match in Melbourne.

"When it comes to the Boxing Day Test my understanding is that the normal convention is that Cricket Australia (CA) invite the Prime Minister of the day to go down," news.com.au quoted Rudd as telling the Fairfax Radio Network.

"The convention, as I understand it, is to use the normal air services provided to the Prime Minister. I understand there are security arrangements associated with that," he added

The trips to the Test match at MCG for Rudd, a cricket fanatic like his predecesser John Howard and former British PM John Major, and his two sons - Marcus and Nicholas - cost Au$10,400, according to documents tabled in Parliament yesterday.

The arrangement was for dependent children to travel with the Prime Minister, at taxpayer expense, Rudd said.

"If there is a non-dependent child then, of course, we pay for them at normal commercial rates," he said.


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