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Commonwealth Parliament Offices (CPO) visiting suites

Overarching obligations

The Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 imposes overarching obligations.
The dominant purpose and value for money tests and specified conditions must be met. See s25, 26, 27, 28.
The Commonwealth is not liable to pay an expense or provide a public resource where you contravene any of these obligations (s29, PBR Act).

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Subject to availability, Commonwealth Parliament Offices (CPO) visiting suites, conference rooms and facilities including telepresence facilities are available for use on a short-term basis by you for the purpose of conducting your parliamentary business.

CPOs are located in the capital city of each State and the Northern Territory and are managed by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS) State Offices. Most CPOs also provide permanent office accommodation to some Ministers and/or office holders.

Booking CPO visiting suites

Opening hours are:

  • Business hours: The visiting and conference facilities in CPOs are intended for use during standard business hours and are staffed accordingly. As business hours may vary, check CPO opening hours at the time of booking.
  • After hours: MaPS only provides access to CPOs outside business hours in exceptional circumstances.  If you wish to access the CPO after hours you may need to arrange for a permanent occupant to collect a key from MaPS during business hours, and to facilitate your entry into the CPO. A permanent occupant assumes responsibility for any visitors admitted outside the normal business hours of the CPO.

Bookings:

  • To book visiting suites and/or conference rooms, please contact the relevant MaPS State office. Suites are generally allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. See further below for booking telepresence facilities.
  • Block bookings spanning a period of more than four weeks (for example: every Friday for a period of six weeks) will not be accepted.
  • If a booking is no longer required, you must cancel the booking promptly.

Restrictions:

  • A senior office holder who is a member of the Opposition or leader of a minority party whose office holder office is located in a CPO cannot book additional visiting suites in that particular CPO.
  • Employees may only use CPO visiting suites when accompanying their employing parliamentarian.

Security

You are asked to ensure that:

  • visiting suite and building keys (or swipe cards) are returned to MaPS immediately on departure, and
  • visitors, including media, are accompanied at all times within the CPO. MaPS staff and security staff based at CPOs are not responsible for escorting visitors to and from visiting facilities booked by senators and members of the House of Representatives.

Where parliamentarians who have a permanent office in the CPO, or their staff, enter the building after hours, care should be taken to ensure that other persons do not ‘tailgate’ and that building security is maintained. 

Any suspicious circumstances should be reported as soon as possible to MaPS, or, in the case of Melbourne and Sydney, to on-site security officers.

Car parking

Some CPOs have car parking spaces, which may be made available to parliamentarians who book suites, or who have parliamentary business in the city. As parking space is limited, priority is given to those who have booked suites. Generally one parking space is provided per suite.  Employees and visitors do not have access to CPO parking spaces.

If a parking space is required, MaPS should be advised at the time a visiting suite and/or conference room booking is made.

Visitors

Names of visitors to the CPO are required to be submitted to MaPS prior to the day of attendance. Upon presentation at reception, the visitor may be required to sign in with their name and time of arrival in an attendance book.

Some CPOs require attendees to wear a visitor’s pass. Upon departure the visitor must return the pass to reception.

Telepresence facilities

Telepresence rooms are available for use in each CPO. Please book through the Government Network Services Team.

Media conferences

A senator or member of the House of Representatives may reserve a room to conduct a media conference by contacting the relevant MaPS State Office. You cannot book these facilities for the use of other groups or individuals. The facilities are solely for media conferences conducted by senators and members of the House of Representatives.

Media will be required to show identification and may be required to sign in their name and time of arrival in an attendance book. Access to other areas of the CPO is restricted; therefore members of the media will be escorted directly to the media room.

Last updated: 12 February 2020