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Parks Vic staff spend big on credit cards

AAP logoAAP 9/01/2017

Taxpayer-funded credit cards have been used to pay for meals at fancy restaurants and wineries for Parks Victoria staff.

Credit card records show staff spent thousands of dollars in a number of visits to the high-end Werribee Mansion Hotel and Spa, and $946 at Melbourne pub Saint and Rogue.

One transaction was for Netflix at $14.99, while $260 was spent seven times at one KFC restaurant over four months.

Opposition environment spokesman Brad Battin, who obtained the records under Freedom of Information laws, said the money could have been put to better use.

"This is an offensive waste of money by (Premier) Daniel Andrews' bureaucrats," Mr Battin told AAP.

Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio says an external auditor will review credit card transactions going back four years.

The records show only dollars spent, not what was purchased.

One transaction was for $347 at a jewellers in Melbourne, and $898 was spent at a mountain bike shop.

Others forked out more than $5000 over five transactions at JB Hi-Fi stores.

Acting chief executive Margaret Gillespie welcomed the review, and said staff often travelled over large distances, incurring work-related costs for food.

"Credit cards provide an open and transparent tool for making essential business purchases," Ms Gillespie said in a statement.

She said Parks Victoria had phased out the use of petty cash, as credit cards provided better accountability.

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