Defence Minister Richard Marles is under fire after taking time out from an official trip to India to watch Australia win the Cricket World Cup final.
The Member for Corio and Foreign Minister Penny Wong are on the sub-continent for the 2nd India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with that country’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.
The two-hour side trip to Ahmedabad for the highly-anticipated match has been criticised by the federal opposition, which has been targeting Marles over a claimed $3.6 million travel bill in the first 10 months of 2023.
The minister sat with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi during the game, and joined him in presenting the winner’s trophy to the victorious Aussie team.
The Australian government has confirmed Marles’ trips are in line with relevant guidelines and security protocols.
The opposition has also criticised Prime Minister Anthony Albanese over his busy travel schedule.
However a quick search reveals that in his first 12 months in office, Mr Albanese took fewer trips than predecessors Scott Morrison or Tony Abbott did in the same period.