The Special Minister of State has made two new determinations under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, replacing existing determinations that provide Senators and Members with electorate officer positions and for travel and relief staff arrangements.
The new determinations are:
- Determination 2016/15 – Employment of electorate officers; and
- Determination 2016/16 – Staff travel and relief staff arrangements.
Primarily, the new determinations provide staffing arrangements for a third electorate office in electorates over 350,000km2 reflecting a recommendation of the Review of Parliamentary Entitlements that will enable the constituents of these very large electorates better access to their Member of Parliament.
The determinations also include a number of other amendments, most of which incorporate existing arrangements for greater consistency and ease of reference. For example, the determinations specify the choice of classification structures in electorate offices; the insurance arrangements for self-drive hire cars; and the travel arrangements for Employee Consultative Group and Work Health and Safety Committee Members. New provisions are:
- Employees may now be reimbursed for valet parking costs for an overnight stay away from their work base where valet parking is available at the accommodation occupied by them. This reflects that a number of city centre hotels only provide valet parking and there are limited cost-effective alternatives. The reimbursement of valet parking costs will continue not to be available in other circumstances, for example at airports.
- Travel for training purposes for electorate employees based outside the metropolitan areas of the capital cities has been increased from three trips per financial year (four trips where there is a second electorate office) to four trips per financial year (five or six trips where there is a second or third electorate office). These trips are not debited against the electorate support budget.
- The above travel for training arrangements will now also allow electorate employees in Tasmania to attend training in Melbourne without debit against the electorate support budget.
Queries on these arrangements may be directed to the M&PS Helpdesk on 0262153333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acting Assistant Secretary
Advice and Support Branch
Ministerial and Parliamentary Services
7 October 2016