Australia

Joe Hockey lobbied to help travel firm Helloworld: Reports

Australia's US ambassador Joe Hockey reportedly asked embassy staff to meet with a corporate travel company before it lobbied for government work. Source: AAP

US ambassador Joe Hockey is the second Liberal to be linked to the travel services firm Helloworld that won a government contract, it has been reported.

Australia's US ambassador, Joe Hockey has been dragged into the row involving travel services company Helloworld, in which he owns shares.

Mr Hockey, a good friend of Liberal Party treasurer Andrew Burnes who manages the company, asked staff to meet a representative of the company in 2017, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age report.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann on Tuesday had to defend a family holiday booked through the company in January 2018.

The senator paid $2780 for the flights to Singapore after it was revealed on Tuesday he got the holiday for free.

Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann was forced to defend his family trip.
Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann was forced to defend his family trip.
AAP

"The travel booked through Helloworld back in July 2017 was on commercial terms and should have been charged to my credit card straight away as instructed by me at the time," Senator Cormann said in a statement on Tuesday.

"That is what I genuinely thought had happened."

Andrew Burnes during the 60th Federal Council of the Liberal Party in Sydney.
Andrew Burnes during the 60th Federal Council of the Liberal Party in Sydney.
AAP

Senator Cormann and Mr Burnes are personal friends as well as colleagues.

Helloworld was chosen for a $21 million government tender just weeks before the trip was booked, but Senator Cormann said he had no involvement with the choice of the company or any influence over the process.

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