Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s $60k booze bill

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuks departments spent almost $60,000 on alcohol in the last financial year, which included three months of coronavirus lockdown, new figures reveal.More than $1000 a week was spent on beer and wine at functions hosted by the Premier’s portfolio, including 20 Department of Premier and Cabinet events in the 12 months until July 2020.
Ms Palazczuk defended the spending on Tuesday when she was asked a parliamentary question on notice about the bill.
However the Queensland Opposition has attacked it, saying it was “unacceptable almost $60,000 has been blown on alcohol … while Queensland was in the midst of a recession”.
The figures reveal $59,938 was spent on alcohol at 99 government functions between July 2019 and June 30 this year, the Brisbane Times reported.
Ms Palaszczuk said the money was used to buy beer and wine to offer “foreign dignitaries” and at events to help connect “Queensland sellers with overseas buyers or to connect potential overseas investors with Queensland project opportunities”.
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“Alcohol is only provided at functions hosted by entities within the ministerial portfolio where it is deemed appropriate to the circumstances,” she said.
The breakdown of alcohol spending shows the Office of the Queensland Governor racked up a $16,042 bill for the 60 functions held over the year.
The Department of the Premier and Cabinet spent $14,909 on alcohol at its 20 functions, while Screen Queensland splashed out $6219.
Queensland Trade and Investment Queensland’s booze bill was $22,768.
Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the amount of taxpayer money spent on booze by the government was far too high and was a sign the Labor Party can’t be trusted with the state’s finances.
“It’s unacceptable almost $60,000 has been blown on alcohol by agencies under Annastacia Palaszczuk’s control while Queensland was in the midst of a recession,” he said.
“A record 234,000 Queenslanders out of work and the worst unemployment rate in the nation is nothing to toast.”