Departments of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spent nearly $60,000 in the last financial year on alcohol, which included three months of coronavirus lockout, new figures show.
More than $1000 a week was spent on beer and wine at activities organised by the Premier’s portfolio, including twenty Premier Department and Cabinet events in the twelve months through July 2020.
On Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk justified the spending when she was asked a parliamentary question about the bill on notice.
But the Opposition in Queensland opposed it, saying it was “unacceptable almost $60,000 has been blown on alcohol … while Queensland was in the midst of a recession”.
The figures show that between July 2019 and June 30 this year $59,938 was spent on alcohol in 99 government operations, the Brisbane Times reported.
Ms Palaszczuk said the money was used to buy beer and wine to offer “foreign dignitaries” and at events to help connect “Queensland sellers with overseas buyers or to connect potential overseas investors with Queensland project opportunities”.
“Alcohol is only provided at functions hosted by entities within the ministerial portfolio where it is deemed appropriate to the circumstances,” she said.
“It’s unacceptable almost $60,000 has been blown on alcohol by agencies under Annastacia Palaszczuk’s control while Queensland was in the midst of a recession,” Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said.
“A record 234,000 Queenslanders out of work and the worst unemployment rate in the nation is nothing to toast.”