Three Coalition MPs collectively claimed more than $12,000 in "overseas study" allowances to pay for flights home from a lavish wedding in India after being invited by mining magnate Gina Rinehart, it's been reported.
Ms Rinehart flew Julie Bishop, Barnaby Joyce and Teresa Gambaro from Perth to Hyderabad in a private jet to watch the granddaughter of her business partner marry in front of 10,000 guests, Fairfax media reported on Sunday.
Ms Rinehart was about to clinch a $1 billion coal deal with the bride's grandfather - G.V. Krishna Reddy, the founder of GVK, one of India's largest energy and infrastructure companies.
In the name of fostering stronger ties with India, Mrs Rinehart invited Australian politicians to be her guests at the wedding.
Mr Joyce claimed a $5500 flight home for him and his wife out of Kuala Lumpur.
The day of the flight, Mr Joyce met Malaysian officials, at noon and at 3pm, before flying home at 10pm.
"My study period in this country was only of one day's duration," he wrote in an obligatory report about his study tour, "but it was of great assistance in familiarising myself with Malaysia".
Ms Bishop claimed a $3445 flight home to Perth from Hyderabad, also claiming her trip as a "study tour".
Her report said she briefly attended a "formal" wedding ceremony but argued the primary purpose of her trip was to meet Indian energy and infrastructure companies that had Australian interests.
Half of Ms Bishop's meetings involved members of the Reddy family, which includes some of India's leading industrialists and politicians.
"I took part in meetings on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday and then attended the wedding and reception for under two hours in the early evening," she told Fairfax.
Ms Gambaro claimed $3446 in "overseas study travel" for the trip, with her report saying the purpose was to observe an international development program including four meetings with development groups for impoverished children.
ABBOTT REPAID COSTS
Prime Minister Tony Abbott reportedly repaid travel expenses after charging taxpayers when he attended the wedding of Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella in Victoria.
According to a News Corp report, Mr Abbott's office says he repaid 1094-dollars for a 2006 trip to Wangaratta for the wedding of the recently defeated frontbencher.
A spokesman for Mr Abbott said he'd repaid the money after the Department of Finance told him it could not guarantee he was entitled to it.