Statements made by Treasurer Foley defending taxpayer funded expenses for overseas trips were not supported by documents released under Freedom of Information and official parliamentary travel records.
“Mr Foley’s first trip under the spotlight was a two week trip to the United States in August 2009,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
Abraham: “The actual Parliamentary business was one day?
Foley: “Well no it wasn’t one day at all…it was many days, I was there for a number of days…
Bevan: “You spent two days in Portland and you spent … eight days in Miami?
Foley: “No…there is a number of days of work done also on the east coast in New York from memory…
Bevan: “It doesn’t say that.
Foley: “Well it does, gentlemen…”
The official travel report shows the following:
1. Mr Foley never even visited New York
2. Mr Foley had a dinner on 5 August 2009 and meetings on one day in Portland (6 August 2009)
3. Mr Foley then had eight days of “private arrangements” in Miami before flying home (8 – 16 August 2009)
“The second of Mr Foley’s trips under the spotlight was a trip to the United States in August 2008 and related to expenses for drinks claimed in the New York “A-Lister” nightclub, Whiskey Blue.”
Abraham: “…this is Whiskey Blue and I think you’ve dealt with that in Parliament.
Foley: “That is the lobby bar of a hotel that I stay in, an affordable hotel and the bill referred to was when at the end of a dinner with my staff, having worked all day in New York, we’ve had a couple of beers in the bar when we’ve got back to the hotel…”
Documents released under Freedom of Information, which show Mr Foley’s itinerary, indicate that on the two days in question (Sunday 17 August 2008 and Tuesday 19 August 2008) Mr Foley had no meetings and these days were listed as “private arrangements”.
“The documents show Mr Foley was charging drinks at taxpayers’ expense at 1:30am in “A-Lister” nightclubs like Whiskey Blue,” Mr Lucas said.
“The people of South Australia can decide whether they trust Mr Foley’s statements on these issues.”