Senators and Members are entitled to travelling allowance in accordance with Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2016/08.
Where a claim for travelling allowance is made under Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2016/08, Senators and Members are not permitted to receive reimbursement of travelling expenses for the same overnight stay from any other source.
Claiming Travelling Allowance
Depending on the purpose of travel, claims for travelling allowance (except to Canberra) require evidence prior to processing, such as confirmation of attendance at meetings or functions.
Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (M&PS) will endeavour to obtain the required evidence from travel bookings, Hansard, information from committee secretaries, etc.
To assist with expediting payment, Senators and Members who are claiming travelling allowance for committee business should mark the Form 4: Parliamentarian’s Travel Declaration with the name of the committee relevant to the claim. There may be occasions where evidence is unable to be confirmed by M&PS. In these cases, the Senator or Member may be asked to provide further information.
From 1 January 2014, mandatory training will be provided for parliamentarians and their offices if more than one incorrect claim is lodged within a financial year.
Rates of Travelling Allowance
Travelling allowance is paid on the basis of an overnight stay. There is no allowance for part-day travel.
A Senator or Member may claim travelling allowance for the preceding night at the location of their destination when the scheduled or actual arrival time at their destination is 6.00 am or earlier.
- View Senators and Members’ Travelling Allowance Rates
- View Office Holders' Travelling Allowance Rates
The Canberra rate of travelling allowance is payable subject to documentary evidence of arrival in and departure from Canberra being produced on request. If evidence is not produced within 60 days of it being requested, any travelling allowance paid in respect of the undocumented period must be repaid.
A sample check of Canberra travelling allowance claims will be made on a regular basis. For audit purposes, evidence can be requested at any time within five years of lodgement of a claim. Documentary evidence should be retained accordingly in order to validate claims upon request.
A Senator or Member will not be requested to supply documentary evidence if they have travelled to and from Canberra by commercial transport booked through the travel provider.
Documentary evidence can include:
- validation of times of arrival in and departure from Canberra by signing the Canberra Car Log held at the Senate, House of Representatives and Ministerial Wing entrances to Parliament House. The log is open 24 hours a day.
- a receipt for an overnight stay in commercial accommodation, identifying the Senator or Member’s name, location of the accommodation and the date/s of the stay.
- a copy of a receipt or credit card transaction for goods or services purchased in Canberra on the day of arrival or departure (the name, location and date must be legible). If the Senator or Member’s name is not printed on the document, a signature on the document will be taken as certification.
- a signed statement by an individual attesting to having met the Senator or Member in Canberra on the particular date of the claim.
- parliamentary records of attendance at proceedings and committee meetings. These records are sufficient documentary evidence of a Senator or Member’s overnight presence in Canberra, provided there is a record of attendance on the day immediately before and after the overnight stay.
Completing a Travel Declaration form
Claims can only be submitted after travel is completed therefore the Travel Declaration needs to be signed and dated after the completion of travel.
If travelling allowance at commercial rates is claimed, a Senator or Member is required to produce receipts for commercial accommodation, or certify on the form that receipts can be produced (and will be produced upon request). For audit purposes, receipts may be requested at any time within five years of the lodgement of the Travel Declaration form.
A set of maps is available which show the approximate boundaries of the areas in which ‘capital city’ rates may be claimed.
A claim for travelling allowance must be submitted within 60 days from the date the travel is completed. If a Senator or Member is unable to submit a claim within 60 days from the date that the travel is completed, they may write to the Special Minister of State, within 60 days from the date the travel is completed, explaining the circumstances and the Special Minister of State may approve an extension of time in which to submit a claim.
If a Senator or Member is unable to submit a claim before the 60 day period has elapsed, and where the Special Minister of State has not approved an extension of time to claim, payment of the claim will not be made.