Prince Harry's visit to Australia cost taxpayers $150,000. Photo: Janie Barrett
Taxpayers were charged $150,000 for Prince Harry's two-night visit to Australia last October, Senate documents reveal.
Entertaining the Prince cost significantly more than the Coalition spent recently on other official visitors.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's National League for Democracy, spent almost 15 years under house arrest before her release in 2010. The bill for her five nights last November and December was just under $40,000. Her tour included speeches at universities and the Sydney Opera House, and a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at Parliament House in Canberra.
About $12,000 was spent on New Zealand Prime Minister John Key's one-day visit last October. Indonesia's Vice President Boediono visited for six nights last November, during heightened tensions between the Australia and Indonesia over spying claims and the Coalition's boat turn-back policy. His trip cost taxpayers about $151,000 or a nightly cost of $25,000. The nightly cost of Prince Harry's trip was $75,000.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) would not provide a breakdown of the money spent on Prince Harry, but said the “broad categories of costs for these visits could include transport (air/ground/water), accommodation, hospitality and other visit related costs.”
PM&C also covers the cost of gifts to official guests, according to an official questioned by opposition Senate spokeswoman Penny Wong in estimates hearings this week.
While visiting Australia, Prince Harry attended the International Fleet Review celebrating 100 years of the Royal Australian Navy, met with SAS troops in Perth and met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his family at Kirribilli House.
Prince Harry appears to have enjoyed the hospitality. An AAP journalist covering the royal trip reported: “Before his departure from Sydney, Prince Harry told reporters Australia already felt like a second home and he was very sad to be leaving.”
"I just can't get the time off work these days," Prince Harry said.
"The next time I come back you will be struggling to get rid of me I am sure."