NT Environment Minister's $60,000 taxpayer-funded New York junket exposed

Public debate heats up as details emerge about costly trip to the United Nations Conference.

NT Environment Minister's $60,000 taxpayer-funded New York junket exposed
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Northern Territory Environment Minister Lauren Moss has come under fire after revelations she expensed nearly $60,000 to the taxpayer for her and an adviser's business-class trip to New York.

The journey took place in March, where Moss addressed the United Nations Water Conference

The cost breakdown includes a staggering $52,000 on business class tickets via Qantas and United Airlines, $3,600 for lodging at New York's four-star Sonesta Shelburne hotel, and an additional $3,400 for meals and sundry expenses. 

Nicole Manison, the Acting Chief Minister, defended Moss's expenditure, stating:

"This was about First Nations people and water security and that is a topic that we have a great deal of expertise in."

However, this defence appears contradictory to Manison's previous stance.

In 2015, while Labor was in opposition, she criticised Bess Price, a Country Liberal Party Minister, for a nearly identical $50,000 trip to a UN conference. At the time, Manison questioned the tangible benefits to the Territory and labeled it a "junket."

Manison now argues that unlike Price, Moss gave a speech at the conference and was invited by the Federal Labor Government.

"Many years have passed, prices have gone up, and the important thing is that Minister Moss was representing Australia at this conference," she added.

Moss's office could not confirm whether carbon credits were purchased to offset trip emissions.

This comes after Labor previously vowed to offer greater transparency around government travel.

Despite this promise, detailed costings for such travel have only been revealed months after the fact, casting shadows over the government's transparency commitment. 

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  • By Avi Yemini

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