Money for nothing: WA MPs given an annual $80k unreported, unaudited slush fund
Western Australian MPs are given $78,000 in addition to their salaries to spend as an "electorate allowance". They do not have to report what they spend it on, nor do they have to pay it back if they don't use it all for legitimate purposes. And the honour system works so well for pollies ...
Canberra journalists devote a quite a bit of time to combing through federal politicians' disclosure logs, wherein such gems as Sussan Ley's property-buying trip to the Gold Coast and Julie Bishop's jaunt to the Portsea Polo can be found. But spare a thought for journos in Western Australia -- members of WA Parliament receive almost $80,000 in allowances every year, and they do not have to disclose what they do with that money anywhere.
Newly elected Premier Mark McGowan has made moves to rein in members' entitlements since taking office. He froze state MPs' salaries for the next four years in May, a gesture almost immediately undercut by the revelation that a tribunal determination the previous year (but coming into effect after Labor took office) had delivered an increase to their motor vehicle allowance that would increase their pay by $25,000 regardless. McGowan eventually scrapped it again, but he didn't require MPs to repay any amounts they'd received in the interim.