Ken O'Dowd
Ken O'Dowd Mike Knott

O'Dowd spent $132,000 when campaigning for re-election

FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd was one of Federal Parliament's biggest spenders of printing and communications entitlements during the six-month period including the 2013 election - claiming $132,309 for the period.

His claims made him parliament's sixth biggest spender on the entitlement in the last six months of 2013.

The central Queensland MP spent 84% of that, or $112,235, during the six weeks of the 2013 election campaign.

The campaign spend was almost a quarter of his total claims of $478,177 on the entitlement since he was elected in 2010.

Check out our special interactive to see what your MP spent

Finance Department documents show Mr O'Dowd spent $117,411 on the entitlement in the 2011 calendar year, $96,650 in 2012, $207,881 in the 2013 election year and $27,603 in 2014.

But his electoral neighbour, first-term Hinkler MP Keith Pitt, spent $143,365 on the entitlement since his election in 2013.

The first-term LNP politician has not yet faced an election as an incumbent, so has not been able to use the entitlement during a campaign.

APN does not suggest any of these claims was outside the rules.

 



Mr O'Dowd did not respond to a series of questions on the matter.

Mr Pitt said in a statement all his claim was "within current guidelines and is publicly available online".

But he said he would wait until a review of the entitlements system was completed before commenting further.

The entitlement can also only be used for "electorate" or "parliamentary purposes", despite those terms not being defined under the regulations.

The last review of the entitlements system recommended banning the use of the entitlement during the official six-week campaign period, a recommendation all governments since have ignored.

 

--DANIEL BURDON



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