Cost of flights for Prince's royal visit adds up
TAXPAYERS forked out nearly $200,000 for VIP flights to transport Prince Charles and his large travelling party around Australia and to Vanuatu during a 10-day royal tour to open the Commonwealth Games last year.
The Australian yesterday reported Defence Department figures reveal there were 19 flights costing $183,511 associated with the April 1-10 visit.
The Prince of Wales was a passenger on only 11 of them.
One of these was as part of the 19 people who flew from Brisbane to Bundaberg on April 6. That flight cost $2682. It was the same cost for the return flight from Bundaberg to Brisbane.
During his time in the Rum City, Prince Charles lifted the community spirits at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery where he spoke about the bravery and resilience of the community following the floods.
The Australian reported the most expensive individual flight provided by the Royal Australian Air Force, detailed in the department's latest schedule of special purpose flights, was for three passengers to fly from Canberra to Singapore to meet Charles ahead of the Australian tour, with the 7.9-hour trip on a Boeing 737 costing $35,313.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, accompanied her husband on two flights from Singapore to Wagga Wagga and then on to Brisbane at a cost of $38,442 before leaving Australia early. The Prince also visited Port Vila with then foreign minister Julie Bishop, Cairns, Mossman Gorge, the Gove Peninsula and Darwin.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had already revealed the cost of the trip excluding the VIP flights was $620,095.91, meaning taxpayers paid a total of $803,606 for Charles's 16th Australian visit.
The Australian Monarchist League said the trip was "tremendous value for Australians".