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Labor senators grill Mathias Cormann over travel bookings: ‘It’s an odd arrangement’

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There can’t be any suggestions
at all that this was ever intended to be free travel or that it
was free travel. It wasn’t.
There was obviously a charge carried in the system within
the business against that travel, a charge that I assumed
had been processed against my credit card
but it turns out it hadn’t. – With whom did you speak? With Mr Burns. – You spoke with Mr Burns?
Yep. – So he’s the managing director,
isn’t that correct? Yep, that’s right. – Of an ASX-listed company
and he took you travel booking? Well, I made arrangements
through him. – It’s a 770 market-capitalised company
and he took your travel booking? I can only tell you what happened.
I made a booking through Helloworld, engaging with Mr Burns,
that is right. And I provided my
credit card details and … and I asked for payment
to be made and I was assured that this would happen. – But it’s not just
through Helloworld. – Sorry, you don’t just ring
one of their employees, – you ring the boss.
Is that how it works? Well, I mean, he was my contact
that I knew at Helloworld and I made travel arrangements
through him, that’s right. – It’s an odd arrangement. Sorry? – It’s an odd arrangement. – How did this arrangement come
about between yourself and Mr Burns? – Did he offer to facilitate
your travel or did you – approach him about
becoming your travel agent? [Laughs] Well, Helloworld
is a travel business. – They are but they don’t
advertise the CEO’s phone number – broadly, for general public use.
So I’m wondering about – the circumstances that see
you phoning the CEO of an organisation. The circumstance is that
I organised the travel and I booked travel
and I paid for it. – How do you know Mr Burns? Well, I’ve known him over
the years, obviously. I mean, it’s a matter of public
record that he has been involved in the Liberal party
for some time.

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