All aboard Nev Power’s air taxi! COVID commission boss earning $294,000 for six months’ work flies MPs in his $8million private jet around the country – and it’s all paid for by YOU
- Ex-mining boss Nev Power is advising Scott Morrison on economic recovery
- He is being paid $294,079.50 of taxpayer cash for just six months of work
- In a senate inquiry today he admitted flying his MP mates in his private jet
- Labor Senator Kristina Keneally criticised the luxury flights as ‘a bit rich’
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The chair of the COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission has been flying his MP mates around the country on his private jet at taxpayer expense.
Former mining boss Nev Power is being paid $294,079.50 by taxpayers to advise Scott Morrison how to get the economy back on track after coronavirus.
The money covers his daily expenses including food, accommodation and travel on his Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 jet, which is worth an estimated $8million.
The chair of the COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission has been flying his MP mates around the country on his Embraer EMB-505 Phenom 300 jet (pictured) at taxpayer expense
Former mining boss Nev Power (pictured) is being paid $294,079.50 by taxpayers to advise Scott Morrison how to get the economy back on track after coronavirus
In a senate inquiry today, Mr Power – who flies the jet himself – admitted giving his mates a lift. Pictured: The interior of a similar model of plane to Mr Power’s
The register of interests shows he gave Attorney General Christian Porter a lift from Canberra to Perth on 9 April and then took him back to Canberra on 3 May.
Liberal MP Ben Morton tagged along for the trip to Perth before Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was welcomed aboard for the journey to Canberra.
In a senate inquiry today, Mr Power – who is a qualified pilot and flies the jet himself – admitted giving his mates a lift.
‘Yes that’s correct, I was going back [to Perth] for Easter and I offered them a lift,’ he said.
Labor Senator Kristina Keneally criticised the taxpayer-funded luxury flights.
‘It’s a bit rich when there are single mums, casual workers, tradies and teachers who are missing out on JobKeeper,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Power, who earned millions as the CEO of Fortescue Metals Group until 2018, was handpicked for the COVID Commission job by the Prime Minister and is expected to hold the role for six months.
His publicly available flight history shows his jet, which he leases out, has taken around 20 trips since his appointment as Chair, including to Canberra, Ravensthorpe, Mount Isa, Perth, Busselton, Essendon, Merimbula, Adelaide and Albany.
The register of interests shows Mr Power gave Attorney General Christian Porter (left) a lift from Canberra to Perth on 9 April and then took him back to Canberra on 3 May. Liberal MP Ben Morton tagged along for the trip to Perth before Finance Minister Mathias Cormann (right) was welcomed aboard for the journey to Canberra
Stephanie Foster, of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, told a senate inquiry that it is not the government’s business to decide how he travels.
‘We base our costs around commercial flights. How Mr Power then travels and how he uses the funding is not our concern,’ she said.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said in a statement: ‘In developing and executing Mr Power’s contract, the PM&C estimated travel to and from Canberra valued at approximately $6,000 per return trip each week, $350 per night for accommodation and incidentals such as food and taxis, and additional extra expenses set to be incurred from other travel once internal border restrictions ease’.
The taxpayer is also paying the $73,000 salary of Mr Power’s executive assistant.
Senator Cormann said Mr Power’s jet was the only way for him to travel that day because all direct commercial options were cancelled.
He told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Given Nev Power was travelling by plane himself between Perth and Canberra anyway, I would have thought it made a lot of sense all round for us to accept his offer of a lift at no additional expense to the Commonwealth.
‘The travel on his plane was of course appropriately declared.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Porter and Mr Morton for comment.