Part Four Travel - 4.4 Charter Transport

4.4 Charter Transport

An Opposition Office Holder may use charter transport (including cars, aircraft, boats, coaches, trains and other vehicles) for travel in Australia on official business1, for example when:

  • scheduled services are not available; or
  • the use of scheduled services would prevent the Opposition Office Holder from meeting an official commitment; or
  • the use of scheduled services would not be the most cost effective means of travel.

This entitlement is in addition to any entitlement an Opposition Office Holder may have as a Senator or Member to use charter transport for travel within and for the service of his or her electorate. An Opposition Office Holder may choose to access either entitlement to charter transport, depending on the purpose of the travel.

4.4.1 Insurance Cover

When chartering transport under this entitlement (whether the charter vehicle is a car, aircraft, boat, coach, train or other vehicle), an Opposition Office Holder is responsible for ensuring that the arrangement with the charter operator includes adequate coverage for any liability which might arise as a result of property damage, or accident or injury to the Opposition Office Holder or to a third party.

4.4.2 Other Passengers

An Opposition Office Holder using charter transport for official business in Australia may be accompanied at Australian Government expense by:

  • his or her spouse;2 and
  • one employee.3

An Opposition Office Holder may also be accompanied by one or more of the following additional people unless, as a result of the addition of the person to the travelling party, a larger aircraft or vehicle is required, or the cost to the Australian Government of the travel is increased:

  • one or more additional members of his or her staff;
  • another member (or members) of Parliament whose presence is relevant to the purpose of the travel; and
  • any other person (noting that the cost of any such person’s travel will be recovered by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services in accordance with cost recovery guidelines issued by the Minister).4

It is the responsibility of an Opposition Office Holder to advise accompanying passengers, prior to travel, where recovery arrangements will apply to their portion of the travel. The Opposition Office Holder will be responsible for the cost of accompanying passengers where the Opposition Office Holder does not obtain prior consent of accompanying passengers to the payment of their own travel costs.

An Opposition Office Holder should note that the cost of travel for any dependent children or designated persons cannot be offset against his or her entitlement to family reunion travel, as family reunion travel is limited to travel on scheduled commercial services or special purpose aircraft. Consequently, the pro rata cost of travel by any accompanying family members other than an Opposition Office Holder’s spouse, will be recovered from the Opposition Office Holder.

If cost recovery is required, it is the Opposition Office Holder’s responsibility to provide the name and address of the passenger(s) concerned to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services.

The amount to be recovered from an accompanying passenger is:

  • the scheduled commercial economy class fare equivalent; or
  • the notional pro rata cost of the passenger’s travel if that is less than the scheduled service fare or if there is no scheduled commercial service.

In calculating the pro rata cost for those passengers, the full invoice cost (in so far as it relates to their travel) will be applied.

An Opposition Office Holder should note that the cost of travel for any dependent children or designated persons cannot be offset against his or her entitlement to family reunion travel, as family reunion travel is limited to travel on scheduled commercial services or special purpose aircraft. Consequently, the pro rata cost of travel by any accompanying family members other than an Opposition Office Holder’s spouse, will be recovered from the Opposition Office Holder.

4.4.3 Accounts

The contracted travel services provider can make bookings for charter transport, including car hire. Alternatively, arrangements can be made directly with a charter transport provider. If making arrangements directly, the account should be sent by the charter transport provider to the Opposition Office Holder’s office and forwarded to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, attached to a Presiding Officers, Opposition Office Holders, Leader of a Minority Party Charter Certification form (Form 39).

Opposition Office Holders may be required to pay an account with a charter transport provider and seek reimbursement from Ministerial and Parliamentary Services. In such cases, Ministerial and Parliamentary Services will reimburse the Opposition Office Holder on provision of an original or copy of the invoice, proof of payment, and appropriate certification.

Footnotes

1  Paragraph 1(1)(e) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.

2  Under the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990, the term ‘spouse’ includes a de facto partner within the meaning of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

3  Paragraph 1(1)(e) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.

4  Paragraph 1(1)(e) and subitems 1(4), (5) and (6) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.