Federal Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert has defended spending far more than his parliamentary colleagues on home internet access, and billing the cost to taxpayers.
Mr Robert spent more than $2000 a month on average for the connection at his Gold Coast residence in the three months to May, according to parliamentary expense records.
His May bill alone totalled $2832, while the vast majority of other MPs spent under $300 a month.
The Queensland Liberal MP told Fairfax Media connectivity issues were responsible for the high charges, because he had to use a wireless service as other cheaper connections were unavailable when the service was installed.
He used about 300 gigabytes of data in May, he says, with the high bill a result of having to pay for extra data after exceeding his 50GB limit.
Mr Robert has been charging taxpayers more than $1000 per month for data at his home since 2016, Fairfax Media reports.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says an investigation into the Fadden MP’s expenses is a decision for the Department of Finance.
“Every member of parliament should use their work expense arrangements appropriately and carefully,” he told Sky News on Friday.
“In the end these are matters that are administered at arm’s length by the department as appropriate.
“I’m going to let Stuart explain the circumstances and I believe he has.”