Australia's sprawling Defence establishment hit taxpayers with a $100 million bill for just 4½ months of travel expenses, the department has revealed.
The $99.9 million travel bill includes more than $4.4 million in taxi fares between September 2015 and the end of January 2016, leaving taxpayers' paying more than $1 million a month for ADF personnel and Defence public servants.
Another $4.2 million was spent on hire cars in the same period.
Most of the taxi and hire car spending was racked up by the navy, army and air force with the public service responsible for the minority of the bills.
In May, a scathing National Audit Office report revealed Defence Department staff billed taxpayers more than $3.3 million for events at private golf courses, sports memberships and entertainment over three years.
But Defence says it has cracked down on the use of taxpayer-funded credit cards and travel entitlements and had booted two Australian Defence Force members out of the service between September 2015 and January 2016.
One of the offenders was dismissed for making unauthorised cash withdrawals on a Defence credit card, the other for stealing a comrade's card and using it to get cash from ATMs.
Another 10 investigations into suspected travel rorts were launched during the same period, resulting in lesser penalties or no case to answer.
The massive travel bill was revealed in answers to questions fired at the Defence Department from senators on the upper house's standing committee on foreign affairs and trade.
But the department refused to reveal how much would be spent on travel for the rest of 2016, claiming the effort required "would be an unreasonable diversion of departmental resources".
"As reflected in Defence's financial management systems, travel expenditure for Defence officers for the period 14 September 2015 to 31 January 2016 was approximately $99.9 million," the department said in response to questions.
"These figures represent the entire Defence workforce: APS [Australian public service] employees, full-time ADF members, and ADF reservists and encompasses operational, business, training, removal and condition of service leave-associated travel.
"The figure does not represent charter aircraft used for deployments and exercises."
Defence Minister Marise Payne and Labor counterpart Richard Marles were contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline on Sunday.
In its answers to the senators, the Defence Department said taxis were used for "operational" and other purposes,
"Taxis are utilised by Defence for operational, business, training, removal and condition of service leave-associated travel," Defence said.
The same reasons were give for the $4.2 million in hire car bills racked up over four months.
But Defence says it is now keeping a much closer eye on travel spending by ADF personnel and their public service colleagues.
"The [department's] Chief Finance Officer Group has continued organisational improvements and applied more rigour to the monitoring and control of credit cards," Defence said.
"This includes analysing and monitoring all transactions, including taxis and hire cars."
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