On this day in 1988, a "food and alcohol binge" undertaken by politicians, parliamentary staff and political journalists was likely to cost taxpayers $10,000.
Parliamentary caterers refused to collect money for food and drink consumed in the precincts due to an industrial dispute.
The Speaker, Mrs Child, did not close facilities but chose to allow everyone to eat and drink for free. While some took advantage of this, others kept in mind it was taxpayers who would bear the cost.
"I... was informed that I would not be charged for my dinner, which I must say outraged me" said acting president of the Senate, Senator Hamer. "I... had guests last night and I have made arrangements ... to make the payment for the amount I owe ... all honourable senators who used the facilities have an obligation to do likewise because any unpaid bills will ultimately become a charge on the taxpayer which would, in my view, be outrageous."
Not everyone agreed. It was said one member said he was "supporting the workers" by drinking for free, and another senator was found lying on the lawns.
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