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Richard Marles must come clean on secretive VIP taxi flights

I rise to raise my profound concerns about the use of special purpose aircraft by the Deputy Prime Minister and member for Corio.  Mr Marles needs to come clean.

As each day passes, this government is looking more and more secretive and tricky.

The Senate has made clear its expectations of greater transparency from the Albanese Labor Government on the use of the SPA flights.

As a result of motions moved by the Coalition and The Greens, the Albanese Labor Government has been ordered:

  • • to table information relating to SPA flights to the extent such information can be provided consistent with advice from security agencies;
  • • to table all current and previous versions of the SPA Guidelines provided to officials around the use of SPA flights; and
  • • to provide in confidence to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security any related advice that informed the changes to the SPA Guidelines.


The Coalition’s motion means that there will be careful assessment, without breaching or risking security considerations, of the security advice that led to the changes to the SPA Guidelines.

The member for Corio represents some of the most disadvantaged suburbs in the country. Many of his constituents are struggling just to put food on the table or to turn on the heater.

The fact that it appears Mr Marles has been commuting between Avalon Airport, close to his home, and Canberra on VIP flights rather than catching commercial flights to and from Tullamarine requires a full explanation.

The people of Corio deserve a local representative who puts them first. If Mr Marles has been using VIP aircrafts as a taxi service as it appears, this is untenable.

For a Prime Minister who promised of a more accountable and transparent government, this chain of events only continues to demonstrate this Labor government’s rank hypocrisy.

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