Hayward denies trip private

by Chris Griffith
Published 19 May 1996 in The Sunday Mail


my face


Labor backbencher Ken Hayward has denied he misused his parliamentary travel entitlement during his recent ill-fated trip to Western Australia with ALP state president Bob Gibbs.

The two were involved in an accident when their hired Toyota Land Cruiser hit greavel on a corner and rolled.

Yesterday Mr Hayward said the vehicle had been booked through Parliament House in Brisbane and hired in Kalgoorlie.

But he said media reports had incorrectly suggested the venture was "a private trip". "I undertook the trip as part of my parliamentary business," he said.

Mr Hayward said he was a member of the Opposition's mines and energy committee chaired by former minister Tony McGrady.

"I wanted to find out why there had been a gold rush in Western Australia and not in Queensland. It had been put to me the reason why it occurred there was the nature of the permit process there."

Hertz spokeswoman in Kalgoorlie Ms Jane Storey confirmed the vehicle was pre- booked by Parliament House in Brisbane and it was a business rental. "They are lucky people to be alive if you saw the car," she said.

Mr Hayward said the hire cost would be "offset" by his parliamentary travel entitlement. He could reclaim fuel expenses because he had lost all receipts.

He said he was still bruised and suffered pain in his head because of the ordeal. "I have no recollection of the accident. The first thing I had known was waking up in the Perth hospital."

by Chris Griffith