• Julie Bishop may be in breach of strict rules requiring minister’s pay for any extravagant gifts. (AAP/NITV)Source: AAP/NITV
The former foreign minister says she didn't overstep the rules but refuses to confirm whether she was gifted a pair of the world's first haute couture Aboriginal shoes.
NITV Staff Writer

24 Oct 2018 - 5:46 PM  UPDATED 24 Oct 2018 - 5:46 PM

Julie Bishop has been asked to confirm whether a pair of shoes she declared as a gift were those created by fashion designer Jimmy Choo and featuring striking images by Noongar artist Peter Farmer.

The former foreign affairs minister updated her register of interests in March to declare she had received "Aboriginal print shoes" by Grand Master Lineage, a Chinese company linked to Choo.

Under parliamentary rules, MPs have to declare gifts on the register of member’s interests – the official record of financial benefits.

If the gift exceeds the $300 limit, ministers must pay the difference with the item’s commercial value.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted a document filed to the senate that suggests that she did not pay any difference in the value of the shoes and the $300 limit.

"The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has no record of the above items being declared as official gifts over the allowable limit," it said.

"Declarations of official gifts that are over the allowable limit are a matter for individual ministers."

The newspaper also suggested the shoes could be worth as much as $25,000 if they were one of the series featuring designs by Mr Farmer, which Ms Bishop did not confirm.

A spokesperson said Ms Bishop "complied with the requirements".

One pair of the shoes showcased the blue wren, Mr Farmer’s totem, and colours from the landscape in Western Australia's South West.

"Where I come from, you see a lot of these colours, just bringing them to life is beautiful.  It’s different when you put it on clothing. Straight away people catch the eye by the colours they look at,” he told NITV News earlier this year.

NITV News has requested comment from Ms Bishop.

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