The Leader of the Opposition is entitled to a dedicated COMCAR driver in Canberra or in the capital city of his or her home State or Territory.1
An Opposition Office Holder is entitled (as a Senator or Member) to use car transport for Parliamentary or official purposes within Australia.2
Opposition Office Holders have access to:
An Opposition Office Holder may elect to be provided with a private-plated vehicle on long-term hire in Canberra, in lieu of COMCAR.3An Opposition Office Holder retains his or her entitlement to an electorate-based private-plated vehicle in the electorate for Parliamentary, electorate or official business, family travel and private purposes, but not for commercial purposes.4
Enquiries about the entitlement to car transport should be directed to the Entitlements Management Branch Help Desk.
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.
Short-term Self-drive Hire Cars
An Opposition Office Holder is entitled to use short-term, self-drive car transport, but only on the same terms and conditions as other Senators and Members.
An Opposition Office Holder may elect to be provided with a private-plated vehicle (PPV) based in Canberra, on long-term hire.5 Conditions of using the vehicle are as follows:
- the vehicle must be garaged in Canberra;6
- it may be used:
- it may be used for private purposes, but not for commercial purposes;9 and
- as the vehicle is provided in lieu of COMCAR in Canberra, it is expected that an Opposition Office holder will only require the use of COMCAR in Canberra:
- for direct travel between Parliament House, or his or her accommodation in Canberra, and Canberra Airport;
- to attend a vice-regal, Parliamentary, diplomatic or official function; and
- where the Leader has a specific concern for his or her personal safety or security.10
Vehicles are supplied by a whole-of-government Fleet Provider and are covered by the same insurance arrangements that apply to all Senators and Members’ PPVs. The Australian Government meets the cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance and registration.
Further information on PPVs is available in the Senators and Members’ Entitlements handbook, including Australian Government-provided fuel cards, parking, traffic and parking fines and tolls.
If an Opposition Office Holder has chosen to have a PPV, it is expected that he or she will retain the vehicle for the entire length of the lease term. When determining the term of a lease, Ministerial and Parliamentary Services examines the projected usage of the vehicle (i.e. the number of kilometres likely to be driven), as well as factors such as the warranty provided for the vehicle. The lease term will be reviewed regularly against these projections and may be adjusted to ensure the lease achieves value for money. Lease periods are typically three years.
An interim vehicle may be provided while waiting for the ordered vehicle. Arrangements for this may be made through the ACT Territory Manager.On occasion, Ministerial and Parliamentary Services holds surplus vehicles. These are vehicles that have been returned prior to the expiry of the original lease period – for example, where an Office Holder ceases to hold an office that would entitle him or her to a vehicle. Where practicable, a surplus vehicle will be reassigned to a parliamentarian who requests a PPV, rather leasing a new vehicle. Reassigning a vehicle helps to minimise the cost to the Commonwealth of providing this entitlement.
1 Paragraph 1(1)(b) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.
2 Clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2012/04: Members of Parliament - Entitlements. The entitlement to use car-with-driver services for travel in Australia for purposes related to parliamentary or electorate business is provided by sub-item 8(b) of Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.
3 Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012 – Car Transport.
4 Clause 6.7 of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2012/04.
5 Subsection 7(1)(c)(iv) of Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012.
6 Subsection 7(9) of Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012.
7 Subsection 7(8) of Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012.
8 Subsection 7(9) of Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012.
9 Clause 4.8 of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2012/04 and subsection 7(4) of Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012.
10 Subsection 5(3) of Procedural Rule No. 1 of 2012.