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SYDNEY, March 24. /TASS/. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott used the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) jet to get to a private reception of a mining magnate, the local media reported on Tuesday.
The purpose of the trip was to visit a party hosted by a mining magnate Paul Marks on the occasion of his birthday, the media noted. Last year, the millionaire donated $250,000 to the country's ruling Liberal Party led by Abbott. Another $500,000 was received from the company Nimrod Resources, which Marks owns.
Representatives of the prime minister's office confirmed Abbott's trip to Melbourne on Sunday, but stressed that during his trip Abbott "held other meetings related to the implementation of his prime minister's duties." There is no information regarding these meetings yet.
Representatives of the opposition parties demanded that the prime minister explain the incident publicly and tell the people why he did not use a commercial flight. "The Australian taxpayers have legitimate questions on this matter," said an independent senator Nick Xenophon.