Part Four Travel - 4.4 Car Transport

4.4 Car Transport

A Minister is entitled to use car transport for official Ministerial purposes anywhere in Australia. The cost of these services is met by the Minister’s portfolio department.

A Minister has access to:

  • COMCAR;
  • other car-with-driver services, including taxis;
  • short-term self-drive hire cars; and
    •  a private-plated vehicle on long-term hire in Canberra, in lieu of COMCAR; or
    • a dedicated driver service in lieu of COMCAR services.
A Minister retains his or her entitlement to use a private-plated vehicle in the electorate for Parliamentary, electorate or official business, family travel and private purposes, but not for commercial purposes.1

Enquiries about the entitlement to car transport should be directed to the relevant Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Entitlements Manager, or to the Entitlements Management Branch of Ministerial and Parliamentary Services.

4.4.1 COMCAR

COMCAR provides car-with-driver services to entitled clients. These services are available in all metropolitan and most country areas, using selected hire car companies and taxi services to supplement the COMCAR fleet where required.

4.4.2 Dedicated Driver

The following Office Holders are entitled to a dedicated driver service provided by COMCAR:

  • the Prime Minister;
  • the Deputy Prime Minister; and
  • other Government Office Holders as approved by the Prime Minister.

If any other Minister requests a dedicated driver service, the portfolio department can recruit a driver to the Minister’s portfolio department in Canberra and/or his or her home state. The Minister’s portfolio department meets the cost of this service.

4.4.3 Other Car-with-Driver Services

A Minister may also use chauffeur-driven hire cars and exclusive taxi contractors of his or her own choosing.

The Minister’s portfolio department meets the cost of these car-with-driver services.

4.4.4 Self-Drive Vehicles

Short-term self-drive cars

Short-term self-drive hire cars may be booked through the travel services provider contracted by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, or directly with any car hire company.

View in Summary

Long-term self-drive vehicle in Canberra

A Minister may elect to be provided with a Private-Plated Vehicle (PPV) based in Canberra in lieu of COMCAR services. The cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance and registration is met by the Minister’s portfolio department. Conditions of use are as follows:

  • as the vehicle is provided in lieu of COMCAR in Canberra, it is expected that a Minister will only require the use of COMCAR directly to and from the Canberra Airport;
  • the vehicle may be used for travel between Canberra and the Minister’s electorate or principal place of residence;
  • the vehicle may be used for travel outside of Canberra; and
  • the vehicle may be used for Parliamentary and official Ministerial purposes, including for these purposes by the Minister’s employees.

A Minister may choose to use the Canberra PPV for private purposes, but not commercial purposes, that is, on the same basis as the PPV provided in the electorate. A Minister who selects a PPV is no longer required to make a personal contribution towards the costs of the vehicle.

Vehicles are supplied by the whole-of-government Fleet Provider and are covered by the same insurance arrangements that apply to all Senators and Members’ PPVs. The portfolio department is responsible for replacing the Canberra PPV at the end of its lease.

4.4.5 Costs

A Minister’s portfolio department meets the cost of all official Ministerial car transport, except for the Parliamentary Shuttle Service (which is paid for by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services). On those occasions where a Minister requests a Senator or Member to represent him or her on official Ministerial business, the car transport costs of that Senator or Member are also met by the Minister’s portfolio department.2

4.4.6 Publishing of Car Transport Costs

The costs of car transport paid by a Minister’s portfolio department are included in the report published on the Finance website every six months on Parliamentarians’ entitlements. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services contacts portfolio departments to obtain details of these costs.

Footnotes

1  Clause 6.7 of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2012/04: Members of Parliament—Entitlements.

2  Clauses 3.1 and 3.2 of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2012/04: Members of Parliament—Entitlements.