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Anthony Albanese among several politicians to declare free Taylor Swift tickets | Australian politics

PoliticsAnthony Albanese among several politicians to declare free Taylor Swift tickets | Australian politics

Anthony Albanese accepted free tickets to Taylor Swift’s sold-out Sydney concert last month, one of several federal politicians who were gifted passes to the hotly anticipated Eras tour.

The prime minister declared “I’m a Swiftie” when the American pop star swept through Australia in February. He has now declared receiving tickets to her performance, disclosing “tickets to Taylor Swift concert in Sydney from Universal Music Group” under the “travel and hospitality” heading on his parliamentary register of interests.

Universal is Swift’s record label.

Albanese was captured on video by a fellow concertgoer at Swift’s Sydney gig, dancing along to Shake It Off alongside his fiancee, Jodie Haydon. The pair, amid a crowd of other fans, appeared to be on the balcony of one of the corporate boxes at Accor Stadium.

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The sports minister, Anika Wells, also recently disclosed “two Tickets to Taylor Swift- The Eras Tour” on her register of interests, adding that she was “guest of Frontier Touring” – the promoter of the tour.

Alison Byrnes, the first-term Labor MP for the Illawarra seat of Cunningham, also attended Swift’s Sydney concert – courtesy of her husband, Paul Scully, a New South Wales state Labor MP and minister for planning and public spaces.

“My husband, Paul Scully MP, received two tickets and hospitality for the Taylor Swift concert at Accor Stadium Sydney on 25 February 2024. I attended as his guest,” Byrnes wrote on her federal interests register.

Other federal politicians posted photos online attending Swift’s concerts, including Coalition MPs Andrew Wallace, Hollie Hughes and the former prime minister Scott Morrison.

Wallace’s office said he paid for tickets for himself and his family to attend a Melbourne concert; the member for the Queensland seat of Fisher ran a campaign online asking the singer to perform in his state. Hughes said her tickets were a Christmas gift from a family friend.

During the leadup to Swift’s Australian tour, when her performances were a leading news item for many media outlets, the prime minister spoke often of the American singer. On Nova radio, Albanese declared “I’m a Swiftie”. On Kyle and Jackie O’s program on KIIS FM, he said he would be attending the Sydney concert.

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The deputy Liberal leader, Sussan Ley, at the time challenged the prime minister to give up his ticket to “a real Swiftie” instead.

Guardian Australia reported last month on federal politicians accepting dozens of free tickets over the summer to cricket and tennis matches, horse races and concerts from large companies, sporting organisations and alcohol brands.

Since then, more politicians have disclosed free tickets to popular events.

The Liberal MP Karen Andrews disclosed two tickets to Pink’s Gold Coast concert, courtesy of the Gold Coast Suns. Tony Burke, the federal minister for employment and the arts, disclosed a list of gifts including tickets to corporate suites for Paul McCartney and the Foo Fighters last year, courtesy of Frontier Touring and Sony Music respectively, as well as accommodation at the Woodford folk festival, and tickets to Womadelaide, Wicked and the Handa Opera.

The health minister, Mark Butler, also disclosed tickets to Womadelaide. The Labor MP Cassandra Fernando disclosed two tickets to dinner and a soccer game, courtesy of the Melbourne City Football Club. The resources minister, Madeleine King, received tickets to the Seven West Media corporate box for the WWE Elimination Chamber wrestling event in Perth.

Wells, in her register, disclosed tickets to SailGP from Australian Sailing, and two tickets to a Brisbane Broncos NRL match. The trade minister, Don Farrell, accepted two tickets and hospitality to the Kangaroo Island Racing Carnival, from marine transport provider Sealink. The shadow resources minister, Susan McDonald, disclosed domestic travel, convention registration and accommodation from the Minerals Council of Australia as she attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto.

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