Hartsuyker justifies $28,000 overseas study trip
WHILE some federal politicians have been embroiled in the expenses scandal, Abbott Government frontbencher Luke Hartsuyker said his $28,000 overseas study trip helped him create policies in Opposition.
Now the Assistant Employment Minister, Mr Hartsuyker travelled to the United States, United Kingdom and Amsterdam on a $28,000 taxpayer-funded study trip late last year.
Most of the costs were attributed to $22,000 in flights, with Mr Hartsuyker's accommodation and meals coming to just over $4500 in the two-week journey.
Mr Hartsuyker said he first went to the US to meet telecommunications officials and satellite industry executives, where the then-Shadow Regional Communications Minister learnt more about delivering communications to regional areas.
He said the trip, which also included high-level meetings with British broadband contractor BT in London, helped him contribute to the Coalition's National Broadband Network policies.
"I've often fallen back on what BT told me in London - they ruled out fibre-to-the-home as too expensive and that's why the UK chose not to go down Labor's path," he said.
"My talks in both the US and UK highlighted what we should not be doing when it comes to the NBN, and I found out that by doing fibre-to-the-node, we could save up to 80% of the costs and make it 80% cheaper for Australians."
Mr Hartsuyker said he was also a guest of the London Paralympic Games, where he helped present a medal to record-breaking Australian paralympian Jacqueline Freney.
On the Netherlands leg of the trip, he said he went to Amsterdam to see cycling infrastructure, but was unable to secure official meetings.
"My purpose in visiting Amsterdam was to investigate how that city reconciles its cycling culture with centuries-old infrastructure and architecture," his travel report reads.
As the patron of the Pozieres Remembrance Association, Mr Hartsuyker said he was also honoured to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pozieres memorial site, invited by the town's mayor.
- Fares: $22,049
- Accommodation and Meals: $4505
- Ground transport: $900
- Related travel expenses: $580
- Passports: $14.50