BALLARAT MP Catherine King is one of Victoria’s biggest- spending parliamentarians, according to a new report on international travel. Ms King’s overseas travel entitlements for two conferences last year equalled more than $57,000 – more than all other parliamentary secretaries and most Gillard government ministers. The amount includes accommodation and some first-class airfares for Ms King as well as accommodation and business-class flights for a staffer, in keeping with parliamentary entitlements. Ms King wasn’t Ballarat’s only big spender – Liberal Senator and opposition spokesman for Veterans’ Affairs Michael Ronaldson reported costs of $40,000 for two trips to Europe and the United Kingdom.In her role as parliamentary secretary, Ms King represented former Health Minister Nicola Roxon at a two-day conference on healthy lifestyles and disease control in Moscow in April, where she discussed tobacco plain-packaging legislation. The conference was part of a 10-day trip that also included Belgium and the United Kingdom at a cost of $31,000. She later represented Transport Minister Anthony Albanese at a two-day transport forum in Germany for discussions on road safety and infrastructure at a cost of $26,500.Department of Finance figures for January to June 2011 show Ms King’s costs were higher than the combined total for Ms Roxon and Mr Albanese and higher than the majority of Victorian MPs. In previous reporting periods Ms King incurred only minor international travel costs. “Ms King represents the Australian government on these trips in the interest of the people of Australia – obviously including the people of Ballarat and region,” a spokesperson for the Ballarat MP said. Senator Ronaldson attended commemorations at Gallipoli, the site of the Battle of Crete and conducted study in Italy, Turkey and the UK.Ballarat Greens spokesperson Belinda Coates questioned why MPs and staffers were entitled to first-class and business-class airfares.“In my experience, attending conferences shouldn’t be this expensive and the likely benefit of Catherine King’s attendance will be a question of interest for the people of Ballarat. ” Ms Coates, who challenged Ms King in the seat of Ballarat at the 2010 election, said it was up to local members to demonstrate the need for expensive international travel.