Central Queensland MP Ken O’Dowd
Central Queensland MP Ken O’Dowd Luka Kauzlaric

O'Dowd's expense on children's books donated to charity

WHILE a growing number of politicians come under scrutiny for their taxpayer expenses, Central Queensland MP Ken O'Dowd spent more than $2000 on children's books.

A little unusual perhaps, but Mr O'Dowd said the books and children's DVDs he bought under his entitlement were all donated to local primary schools.

The books included copies of The Wheels on the Bus, The Somethingasaur and Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble as well as Pixar movies Toy Story and Finding Nemo.

While most MPs tend to buy dry political and economic books, Mr O'Dowd said he handed the books out as part of his electoral responsibilities.

"I've got nearly 150 schools in my area, and I tend to like to take something when I go to those schools," he said.

"It could be a flag or a book - sometimes even a copy of Hansard from Canberra, and I tell them that one Hansard is one day's work in Canberra.

"They seem to enjoy the books, but I'm not sure any of the children actually read the Hansard."

Mr O'Dowd said he also dropped books and other resources off to a tutorial centre in south Gladstone, which helped children who were lagging behind in school work.

"I think it's important we (as MPs) help these children out, and after 18 weeks they come out on top of their class, and I think it gives them a real lift," he said.

The Coalition backbencher said he made sure all his expenses were above board, but he was glad the expenses scandal "has come to a head".

"The rules have been drawn up by lawyers, and there's always arguments and debate about them," he said.

"I think they need to be written in a clear, simple language we all understand - there's definitely too many grey areas."


Some of Ken O'Dowd's children's books:

  • Mr Achimedes Bath
  • Ten Blue Wrens
  • Click Go the Shears
  • Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble
  • The Very Happy Caterpillar
  • Are We There Yet?