A Western Australian member of our Federal Parliament has resigned. It does not matter which party he represented, enough to to say that flying back and forth to Canberaa was killing him and he was not spending enough time with his wife and two young children.
I hate airports and flying. I can't imagine having to do it on a regular basis, such as Western Australian politicians have to. Just a guess but I think it would be about a four hour flight from Perth to Canberra. Given the lead in and lead out times for flights, it is pretty well a whole day gone in travel. How many times do they have to do this each year? Never mind that some of the members have electorates are so large, they have to fly around to get to places within their electoral boundaries.
I expect they do receive some extra benefits beyond the cost of probably travel at the pointy end of the plane, and who would deny them that. Whatever you think of our Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, you have to admire for her commitment to Parliament and all that travelling, both all over the world and just back and forth from her Perth, Western Australia home, never mind looking stylish and smart at every step. The new Governor (Her Majesty's representative in the state) of Western Australia, Kim Beasley was a politician and did the hard yards of travel. No doubt many others have.
The esteemed Prime Minister during WWII, John Curtin, travelled back and forth across the Nullarbor to and from Perth frequently by train throughout his parliamentary career. This journey now takes over three days, although it may well have been quicker in days of old. Now that is commitment to your country. I found this link to Curtin and his train travel interesting.
So while we are fond of expressing our often very deserved criticism of politicians, it ain't always all beer and skittles for them all.