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Use of office expenses for regional radio broadcasting services

Key Points

Members of the House of Representatives representing a Rural or Provincial electorate may use office expenses for regional radio broadcasting services

In response to the impact of COVID-19 on regional media services, subsection 66(2) of the Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017 has been amended to allow office expenses to be used to produce or place content for broadcasting on regional radio.

From today, Members of the House of Representatives who represent a Rural or Provincial electorate, as determined by the Australian Electoral Commission, are eligible to use their office expenses for broadcast radio. There is no change to the prohibition on broadcast television, and Members who represent a metropolitan electorate and Senators remain ineligible to use office expense for broadcast radio.

Only broadcasting services by the licensee of a regional commercial radio broadcasting licence with a regional licence area that is at least in part within the boundaries of the member’s electorate, as defined in section 4 of the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 and not in the Australian Capital Territory, can be met as an office expense. For regional licence area details see:

Eligible members may use a maximum of one-third of their annual budget for office expenses for broadcast radio services, including for the production of content. Members are not allowed to share the cost of producing or placing broadcast radio content with another member.

Guidance on the use of office expenses for broadcast radio is available on the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services website at https://maps.finance.gov.au/guidance/annual-budget-office-expenses/office-expenses-restrictions. For further advice, please contact Ministerial and Parliamentary Services on mpshelp@finance.gov.au or 02 6215 3542.

Kind regards

Mathias Cormann

Minister for Finance

Ministerial circular 2020-10

Last updated: 15 May 2020