Victoria’s globetrotting trade minister spent $209,000 and 52 days on overseas travel in 2016.
Philip Dalidakis spent more time abroad on the taxpayer’s dollar than any other minister last year, visiting seven countries with one staff member each time.
According to travel reports, the longest trip was 13 days in the US in September costing $56,714, followed by a 12-day, $42,860 jaunt to Israel in November.
The Small Business, Innovation and Trade Minister also spent $30,000 travelling to the United Arab Emirates, $46,367 on a Mexico and Chile trip, and separate journeys to Singapore and Japan.
His extensive travel saw the first-term MP come under fire at a budget estimates hearing on Tuesday, which heard he has spent $164,500 so far this financial year.
Mr Dalidakis defended the trips, telling the inquiry that overseas travel presented opportunities for trade deals.
“This is not something I undertake for fun…I have a young family and it gives me no satisfaction to leave them for periods of time and miss out on them growing up,” he said.
A spokesman for Mr Dalidakis said it was vital the minister meet with trade partners and establish new ones.
“This creates jobs, investment and opportunities for Victorians,” the spokesman said in a statement to AAP.
“Outbound trade missions are crucial to Victoria’s economy, and so is bringing the world’s biggest companies to our state – including the recent announcement of retail giant Alibaba setting up its regional headquarters in Melbourne.”