Julie Bishop : St Louis Blues over Jimmy Choo shoes




Former foreign minister in Australia, Julie Bishop might find herself in trouble over her Jimmy Choo shoes. The high-profile politician was given a pair of shoes as a gift, by a company linked to designer Jimmy Choo. Unfortunately, it appears she failed to register the gift and in Australia, ministers must pay for extravagant gifts. Under a gift policy, federal ministers are allowed to keep gifts from private sources in the course of official business provided it is worth less than $300. But if the gift is worth more, the minister must "buy" it by paying the difference between the $300 threshold and its commercial value. Ministers must complete a form, attach evidence of the gift's value, and enclose a personal cheque or money order to the Collector of Public Monies. According to reports, evidence provided to the Senate suggests Ms Bishop has not paid any difference in the value of the Aboriginal print shoes and the $300 limit.



Ms Bishop's register of interests was updated in March to note she had been given a pair of "Aboriginal print shoes" by Grand Master Lineage. Grand Master Lineage is a new Chinese company connected to Jimmy Choo, the Malaysian-born designer. Choo last year collaborated with Australian Indigenous artist Peter Farmer for a new line of couture shoes featuring striking Aboriginal artwork. According to Farmer there were only a handful of pairs in the world bearing his Aboriginal artwork, and the shoes are estimated at $25,000. It is not clear whether Grand Master Lineage gave Ms Bishop these shoes, or a less expensive pair. Ms Bishop would not answer whether the shoes she disclosed in March were created by Mr Farmer.



The former foreign minister has also declined to answer questions about the gift, insisting she has complied with her obligations despite parliamentary documents casting doubt on that claim. Earlier this year, Julia Bishop declined to explain whether she paid for jewellery designed by friend and Liberal party donor Margot McKinney, estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ms Bishop has never said if she owns or borrows the jewellery, which features prominently on her Instagram account and is then reposted for promotional purposes by the designer. A Fairfax Media freedom of information request relating to any gifts Ms Bishop has paid for was deemed "fully exempt" from public disclosure
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