Strange how sometimes an incident will catch fire and turn into a full-blown scandal, and other times vanish from sight. In 2010, then-opposition leader Tony Abbott faced media questions about why taxpayers had funded his promotional tour for his book Battlelines. The questions were from, of all people, Glenn Milne. At the time, Abbott’s office claimed charging taxpayers to promote the book was completely appropriate, and any suggestion otherwise was "a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead".
A few weeks after Milne’s story, Abbott’s Chief of Staff Peta Credlin had the money repaid, something we didn’t find out until Margo Kingston was given the relevant documents through freedom of information laws earlier this year. At the time, Credlin said Abbott had claimed the expenses "inadvertently". As you do.