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Additional public resources in exceptional circumstances - natural disasters

Key Points
  • Parliamentarians may apply for additional public resources to conduct their parliamentary business because of exceptional circumstances.
  • Requests for additional resources must be made before incurring any expenses.

With much of Eastern Australia impacted by floods, I want to ensure that you are aware that the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 (PBR Act) provides capacity for you to seek additional resources in exceptional circumstances, such as these, if those resources are required for your parliamentary business.

If your electorate, state or territory has been impacted by an unexpected event, such as a natural disaster, and you wish to seek additional resources, I encourage you to write to me for consideration of your circumstances, including detailing the following:

  • information on the exceptional circumstances, including the scale of its impact on your electorate, state or territory
  • the nature of the parliamentary business that you will undertake with the additional public resources
  • how the additional public resources will provide value for money, taking into account the need to conduct your parliamentary business
  • the extent to which you have expended existing resources (including recent commitments that have not yet been paid) or why additional public resources are required
  • the kinds of public resources you require, including the existing public resources that require supplementing, together with specific amounts
  • any other factors that you consider relevant to your application.

The PBR Act does not permit expenses already incurred to be paid retrospectively under an exceptional circumstances determination. It is therefore important that you submit any applications for additional resources before incurring the expenses.

Further information on exceptional circumstances determinations is available at https://maps.finance.gov.au/guidance/other-work-expenses-and-resources/exceptional-circumstances-determinations.

Similarly, there is provision under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 for your electorate support budget to be increased to provide you with additional travel for those employees whose travel is budget-limited and/or additional relief employment.

Expenditure will be reported in your monthly management reports and quarterly expenditure reports.

The Ministerial and Parliamentary Services’ helpdesk is available to assist you with further advice on exceptional circumstances determinations or assistance in preparing an application for additional resources. You can contact the Help Desk on 02 6215 3542 or at mpshelp@finance.gov.au.

Kind regards

Simon Birmingham

Minister for Finance

26 March 2021

Circular

Last updated: 26 March 2021