Dawson MP George Christensen has referred himself to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority
Dawson MP George Christensen has referred himself to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Emma Murray

Christensen's travel to face independent review

DAWSON MP George Christensen has referred himself to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority after prolonged criticism of his overseas travel.

Mr Christensen said he was confident that his travel was undertaken within the rules.

"But to remove any doubt I will refer the matter to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority today so this issue does not distract from the things which matter to Dawson," he said.

The referral comes after News Regional today revealed Mr Christensen had spent more than $3000 of taxpayers' money to subsidise his own private trips to the Philippines.

Mr Christensen reportedly used five separate domestic flights between Canberra and other major cities to link to his overseas jaunts, over four years.

News Regional revealed taxpayers were charged a total of $3069.45 for three flights between Canberra and Brisbane, and one flight between Canberra and Sydney.

The flights took off after parliament had been sitting in the nation's capital. Instead of returning to his home base in Mackay, Mr Christensen booked flights to Sydney or Brisbane to connect with his trips to Manila, saving himself time and money.

The Queensland marginal seat MP has been under fire since it was revealed he had spent 294 days in the Philippines between 2014 and 2018.

His constant travel has earned him the nickname "the Member for Manila" among colleagues.

Mr Christensen has dismissed previous attacks about his regular overseas trips as a "smear campaign" and denied any of his private trips were billed to the taxpayer.

Mr Christensen made 28 trips to Manila between April 2014 and June last year, and for two years spent more days in the Philippines than in federal parliament.

He previously said he visited the country to visit his now Filipina fiancee and undertake church work.

Mr Christensen, who is expected to marry his fiancee later this year, has argued he has no case to answer and believes he has been targeted because he stood up for his electorate.