Justice Minister Michael Keenan has paid up for his quick round trip to Melbourne from Canberra in early September after the government lost a vote in the House of Representatives.

On September 1, the government lost several votes in the House of Representatives for the first time in over 50 years because several government ministers had left early on a Thursday night. (Labor used the government’s lack of numbers to attempt to get up a royal commission on the banks.)

One of those ministers was Keenan, who had claimed he had to go to Melbourne for a “significant operation with the AFP”, but got straight back on a flight from Melbourne to Canberra once it was clear Labor was determined to cause mischief. Alas, it was too late and Parliament had adjourned for the night once he made it back.

Keenan took responsibility for his actions, though, and despite claiming he needed to leave early for AFP business, the Department of Finance confirmed this week that Keenan had paid for both flights to and from Canberra in business class.

“The minister has repaid the costs of these flights.”

He did, however, use a Comcar to get from Parliament House to Canberra airport, but did not use a Comcar when he returned to the adjourned Parliament.

Peter Fray

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