CPOs are located in each State and the Northern Territory and are managed by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Offices. CPOs typically provide conference rooms and a number of suites for use on a short term basis by visiting Senators or Members, or permanent accommodation (except in Tasmania and the Northern Territory where the small size of the CPOs precludes permanent accommodation). CPOs are available for use by Senators and Members for parliamentary, electorate and official business, but not for commercial or party business.
Employees are not eligible to use CPO visiting suites, unless they are accompanying their employing Senator or Member. Visiting suites are limited and their use by employees can result in other Senators and Members being denied the use of facilities
The visiting and conference facilities in CPOs are intended for use during standard business hours and CPOs are staffed by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services employees accordingly. As business hours vary from State to State, Senators and Members are encouraged to confirm CPO opening hours at the time of booking. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services will not provide access to CPOs outside of business hours, unless exceptional circumstances exist. A Senator or Member wishing to access the CPO after hours will need to arrange for a permanent occupant to collect a key from Ministerial and Parliamentary Services during business hours, and to facilitate the visiting Senator or Member’s entry into the CPO. A permanent occupant assumes responsibility for any visitors admitted outside the normal business hours of the CPO.
Booking Visiting Facilities
Senators and Members wishing to book visiting suites and/or conference rooms may do so by contacting the relevant Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State office. Suites are generally allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Block bookings spanning a period of more than four weeks (for example: every Friday for a period of six weeks) will not be accepted. When a booking is no longer required, Senators and Members must cancel the booking promptly.
Security arrangements for CPOs are the responsibility of the Security Coordination Branch (SCB) of the Attorney-General’s Department.
To assist in maintaining effective security, Senators and Members are asked to ensure that visiting suite and building keys are returned to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services immediately on departure and that visitors, including media, are accompanied at all times within the CPO. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services staff and security staff based at CPOs are not responsible for escorting visitors to and from visiting facilities booked by Senators and Members.Where permanent occupants are entering the building after hours, care should be taken to ensure that other persons do not ‘tailgate’ and that building security is maintained.
Any suspicious circumstances should be reported as soon as possible to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, or, in the case of Melbourne and Sydney, to onsite security officers.
Some CPOs have car parking spaces, which may be made available to Senators and Members who book suites, or who are on official business in the city. As parking space is limited, priority is given to those Senators and Members who have booked suites. Only one parking space is provided per suite. Employees and visitors do not have access to CPO parking spaces. If a parking space is required, Ministerial and Parliamentary Services should be advised at the time a visiting suite and/or conference room booking is made.
Contact details for CPOs are available to Senators, Members and their employees on the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services website.