EXPENSE records show federal MP Andrew Laming spent $50,000 on printing and communications in three months up until June 30, and $19,300 on overseas travel as part of a parliamentary delegation.
The amounts form part of Mr Laming’s $145,000 parliamentary expenditure over the three months.
Mr Laming visited Brazil and Chile in April as part of the delegation.
He said that his focus on the trip was to help Redlands businesses in the transport and transit sector do work in South America.
Mr Laming’s family travel costs were $2200 for three Brisbane to Canberra return flights in May.
The MP came under fire earlier this year when it was revealed that he had claimed more than $13,500 for flights for a family trip to the North Territory and Western Australia last year and more than $4000 for family travel on four trips to Cairns, including flights for his father-in-law, in 2015 and 2016.
Mr Laming said the cost of running a federal MP’s office was about $1 million a year.
“In the long run, the two bayside members – myself and Ross Vasta – are around the second and third lowest spending MPs in Queensland.”
Mr Laming said in the quarter ending in June, he would be slightly higher in the rankings because of the parliamentary delegation costs.
Mr Laming said his annual printing budget of $200,000 was spread across the year.
“It varies as the level of interest and engagement with voters increases or decreases,” he said.
Printing and communications costs in the figures released for three months up until June included distribution, and $11370 for 133,000 printed items in June.
Mr Laming said he spent money on Facebook advertising which was not usual for many federal members.
“I have the largest social media presence for a Liberal MP,” he said.
Mr Laming spent $8160 on flags and national symbols.
He said this was part of a campaign to donate flags and portraits of the Queen on request from people in each federal electorate across the country.
A total of $220 was spent on publications by Mr Laming. These included Hockey Drills: Session Ideas and Drills for the Coach, The Journey: My Story, from Backyard Cricket to Australian Captain and Courage to be disliked, as well as children’s books like Eric the Postie, Macca the Alpaca and What the Fluffy Bunny said to the Growly Bear.
Mr Laming said the books were used as prizes or awards for schools and students or read to children during visits to child care centres.