A SPECIAL audit of Barnaby Joyce and his girlfriend Vikki Campion's taxpayer-funded travel found a "substantial change" in the former deputy prime minister's visits to Canberra where Ms Campion lived.

But it has cleared Mr Joyce, and his one-time adviser, of any wrongdoing, at times relying on the "memory" of others and the National MP's judgment about his travel.

 

Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce during their paid interview on Channel 7.
Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce during their paid interview on Channel 7.

The Parliamentary Expenses Authority began the expenses probe on February 7, the day The Daily Telegraph revealed Ms Campion was expecting a child with Mr Joyce, who had been her boss until April 2017.

As part of the audit, the IPEA "identified a substantial change in the pattern of Mr Joyce's travel to Canberra in 2017, when compared against previous years".

Mr Joyce named as one of his reasons for the increase as a "presumed Cabinet reshuffle", Cabinet responsibilities, a range of portfolio issues, citizenship issues and an "immense workload", which satisfied the IPEA. "Only Mr Joyce can determine that his overnight stay was primary occasioned by that official business that Mr Joyce has identified," the audit reads.

The IPEA said while it was "subjective", it had verified meeting schedules and was "satisfied as to the primary purpose" of the travel.



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