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US ambassador Joe Hockey charges taxpayers more than $70,000 to wine and dine fellow diplomats

Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey charges Aussie taxpayers more than $70,000 for an outlandish party wining and dining fellow diplomats

  • Former treasurer hosted glitzy event in February at the Australian Embassy
  • Among the performers were singer Amber Lawrence and actor Nick Hardcastle
  • The finger food bill alone was $24,000, including King Island cheese and caviar

US ambassador Joe Hockey charged taxpayers more than $70,000 to entertain American state governors at a glitzy function earlier this year.

Government documents show the one time treasurer played host at the Australian Embassy in February.

Country and western performer Amber Lawrence as well as 1980 soapie star Nick Hardcastle both performed in front of the 250-strong room in Washington.

US ambassador Joe Hockey (pictured) on his way to the lavish party in Washington which cost taxpayers more than $70,000

Joe Hockey (pictured with wife Melissa Babbage) hosted a ritzy function in Washington this year where he wined and dined governors from across the US as well as state premiers

Joe Hockey (pictured with wife Melissa Babbage) hosted a ritzy function in Washington this year where he wined and dined governors from across the US as well as state premiers

Matt Wright, who has achieved global fame in recent years on his TV series Outback Wrangler, was also on the list of entertainment, which according to the Courier Mail cost a whopping $42,445.         

A large number of governors from across the US, state premiers and former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull ­attended the gala evening at the Australian Embassy during the National Governors’ Association winter meeting. 

The finger food bill totalled a staggering $24,000, with Kangaroo Island abalone with lime butter, King Island blue cheese and Yarra Valley caviar on the menu.

Thirsty guests also knocked back more than $3000 of beer and wine.

A spokesman for the Foreign Affairs and Trade Department said the party was ‘one of several important events’ in Washington.

‘Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, premiers and chief ministers, and approximately 50 Australian and US CEOs, including from major media organisations, participated in a series of meetings in Washington DC over four days,’ the spokesman said.

Country and western singer Amber Lawrence (pictured) performed at the lavish party in Washington earlier this year

Country and western singer Amber Lawrence (pictured) performed at the lavish party in Washington earlier this year

One time Home and Away star Nick Hardcastle (pictured) also entertained guests

One time Home and Away star Nick Hardcastle (pictured) also entertained guests

Outback Wrangler TV star Matt Wright (pictured) provided an Australian flavour on the night in Washington

Outback Wrangler TV star Matt Wright (pictured) provided an Australian flavour on the night in Washington

‘The interest generated by the visit…and an MOU (memorandum of understanding) signed (with) the NGA has paved the way for continued and expanded engagement at state-to-state level between Australia and the US, including in relation to infrastructure and energy policy.’

Earlier this year multiple media outlets revealed Hockey billed taxpayers almost $70,000 for alcohol, food and babysitters from July to December in 2017.

Hockey’s annual salary is a reported $360,000. 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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