Ex-Lib MP’s sugar-daddy trysts put region in spotlight

Augusta Margaret River Times
Former Liberal MP Phil Edman.
Camera IconFormer Liberal MP Phil Edman.

Margaret River has cracked a mention in the debacle surrounding ex-Liberal Party MP Phil Edman shocking use of taxpayers’ money to fund trysts with women he found through an adult-dating website that matches attractive girls with wealthy “sugar daddies”.

A bombshell Corruption and Crime Commission report this week found the former Upper House whip created aliases to meet women on the Seeking Arrangement website and used his $78,000 electorate allowance to pay for their flights, luxury hotels, lavish dinners and cruises — even a helicopter flight.

Mr Edman’s alleged rorting occurred between 2013 and 2017 when he was earning a base salary of $179,000.

Money that should have been spent helping him serve his electorate in Perth’s south was also used to fund four visits to Penthouse Club Perth ($2908), including entertaining people in its “champagne rooms”, flying his staff to Margaret River’s Leeuwin Estate for a Christmas party ($2840), vehicle registrations and speeding fines ($10,776) and maintenance of his 13m yacht, which he named “Prime Minister”.

The CCC said Mr Edman, pictured, claimed expenses from four raunchy jaunts as electorate allowance deductions. While his private relationships were not serious misconduct, the commission found Mr Edman tried to disguise each of the trips as legitimate business travel.

The CCC formed an opinion of serious misconduct against the former Upper House MP for the South Metropolitan Region, saying his case exposes how $7.5 million in electorate allowances paid to State politicians each year can easily be abused with no oversight.

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