Nationals member for Page Kevin Hogan.
Nationals member for Page Kevin Hogan. MICK TSIKAS

How much northern NSW MPs spent on election communication

NORTHERN NSW MPs significantly decreased their use of the communications entitlements at the 2016 Federal Election campaign.

Nationals MPs Luke Hartsuyker and Kevin Hogan and Labor's Justine Elliot spent a combined $141,000 to get the ear of voters during the six-week campaign.

Mr Hartsuyker, the Cowper MP, claimed $66,000 on communications during the campaign, 44 per cent of his total claim for 2016.

Mr Hartsuyker's claim was significantly below the $82,696 he spent at the 2010 election and the $100,396 from the 2013 election.

Mr Hartsuyker did not respond to questions about his use of the entitlement.

Ms Elliot, the Richmond MP, claimed $28,000 during the campaign, 38 per cent of her communications spend in 2016.

Like Mr Hartsuyker, Ms Elliot's communications spend was significantly less than in previous elections. She claimed $77,490 on communications at the 2010 election, and $87,130 at the 2013 election.

Ms Elliot said her use of the allowance was "legal and within the proper use" as legally defined.

"The expenditure incurred in my role as the Member for Richmond is to engage the views and values of people within our region," she said.

"I continue to communicate through my local regional papers, of which there are many, using my printing and communications expenditure."

Mr Hogan, the Page MP, claimed $47,000 during the campaign, 41 per cent of his yearly spend. Mr Hogan defended his use of the entitlement during the campaign period.

"I communicate with the electorate all year round, in my position as the Federal MP, irrespective of whether there is an election campaign or not," he said. -NewsRegional