Speaker Bronwyn Bishop will be subject to a number of restrictions during her probationary period, including a maximum travel allowance of just $80,000 per hour.
While the Speaker normally spends at much higher speeds, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the strict new rules were necessary to ensure the safety of the Australian Federal Budget and his Government. “The last thing we want is to crash headfirst into a low poll,” he said.
While probationary conditions are usually reserved for new MPs, Mr Abbott said Mrs Bishop was taking the restrictions seriously. “She knows that if she breaks any of these conditions she’ll be forced to travel on public helicopters like other Australians. So I don’t think she’ll be taking any chances”.
He said the probationary period will last until the middle of next year. “It’ll be for 12 months, after which time everyone will have forgotten about this, allowing Mrs Bishop to go back to her unrestricted licence”.