The Prime Minister’s infamous ‘shirt front’ threat has been revealed as nothing more than cuddle time, but it is the taxpayer who has taken the real beating over Tony Abbott’s G20 excess.

Government tender documents reveal the Prime Minister spent close to $24,000 to hire koalas for a staged photo opportunity with visiting dignitaries during the Brisbane summit this month.

This is in addition to other dubious G20 costs, including $45,000 for a one-day conference at a luxury Mexican resort ostensibly linked to the G20; more than $250,000 on a meeting table; and $18,000 for a delegates’ soiree at the MCG.

Chair of Labor’s Waste Watch Committee, Pat Conroy, said the Prime Minister’s G20 expenditure is simply farcical.

“Tony Abbott failed monumentally at the G20. He refused to discuss climate change, humiliated Australia by complaining about domestic politics, and proved to be all talk and no action when it comes to shirt fronting Vladimir Putin,” Mr Conroy said.

“Instead of shirt fronting President Putin, Tony Abbott spent $24,000 of taxpayer’s dollars so Mr Putin could cuddle a koala.”

“Tony Abbott is happy to slug every family in Australia with his unfair Budget but he doesn’t think twice about spending over $20,000 on a photo opportunity.”

“Tony Abbott and his government have the wrong priorities and Labor will continue to hold it to account on behalf of the Australian people,” said Pat Conroy.

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