Skip to main content

Satellite electorate offices

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).

On this page

  • With the express approval of the Minister, a member of the House of Representatives with an electorate* of at least 3,500 km2 but less than 5,000 km2 may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $52,747.83 (GST inclusive, for 2020-2021) for costs incurred to lease, operate, maintain, establish or vacate one privately leased satellite office within the electorate*.
  • A member of the House of Representatives with an electorate* between 5,000 km2 and 25,000 km2 may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $52,747.83 (GST inclusive, for 2020-2021) for costs incurred to lease, operate, maintain, establish or vacate one privately leased satellite office within the electorate*.
  • A member of the House of Representatives with an electorate* of 25,000 km2 or more may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,099.13 (GST inclusive, for 2020-2021) for costs incurred to lease, operate, maintain, establish or vacate one privately leased satellite office within the electorate*.

* The Parliamentary Business Regulations 2017 defines electorate, when used in a geographical sense, to mean “the area that constituted the member’s electorate at the end of the most recent election period”.

The office must be used for the dominant purpose of conducting your parliamentary business. It must not be used for any commercial purpose.

Members are personally responsible for all arrangements, statutory obligations and expenses for privately leased satellite offices, including work health and safety obligations and the payment of rent and service costs. The limit of the Commonwealth’s involvement is to the reimbursement of eligible expenses.

For guidance as to use see Selection and use of offices

List of eligible electorates (as at 18 May 2019)

Electorates with an area of at least 3,500 km2 to 5,000 km2
(eligibility is subject to the express approval of the Minister)
  • Ballarat
  • Hinkler
  • Macquarie
Electorates with an area of 5,000 km2 to 25,000 km2
  • Bass
  • Bendigo
  • Blair
  • Braddon
  • Canning
  • Corangamite
  • Cowper
  • Dawson
  • Forrest
  • Franklin
  • Gilmore
  • Groom
  • Hume
  • Hunter
  • Lyne
  • Mayo
  • Monash
  • Nicholls
  • Page
  • Pearce
  • Wide Bay
  • Wright
Electorates with an area of 25,000 km2 or more
  • Barker
  • Calare
  • Capricornia
  • Durack
  • Eden Monaro
  • Farrer
  • Flynn
  • Gippsland
  • Grey
  • Indi
  • Kennedy
  • Leichardt
  • Lingiari
  • Lyons
  • Mallee
  • Maranoa
  • New England
  • O'Connor
  • Parkes
  • Riverina
  • Wannon

Critera for reimbursement

The reimbursement only applies if the commercial property lease is:

  • for a term of at least 3 months
  • entered into in your personal capacity (that is, it cannot be leased by you on behalf of the Commonwealth, and it cannot be leased by another person (including a company or other organisation) for your use)
  • for an office that is, or is part of, a permanent building (and not, for example, a caravan)
  • for an office that is used for the dominant purpose of conducting your parliamentary business. It must not be used for commercial purposes.

Payments made by members of the House of Representatives in advance, such as rent and insurance, will only be reimbursed by the Commonwealth after the services have been received.

If the total rent and costs for any associated services a member incurs in a financial year is less than the maximum reimbursable amount for that financial year, only the total amount of expenses actually incurred can be claimed.

Reimbursable expenses

Examples of costs that are reimbursable are:

  • rent
  • electricity, gas, water and sewerage
  • repairs and maintenance that are not the landlord’s responsibility
  • insurance premiums and excess
  • lease or hire costs for office furniture and equipment (except where the arrangement could result in the items being owned by you)
  • fixed telephone and internet services, including installation, maintenance, rental, transfer and call and data costs
  • costs to establish and vacate the office, such as removal expenses
  • any relevant Commonwealth, State and local duties, charges and taxes including GST.

Non reimbursable expenses

Costs that are not reimbursable include:

  • any cost that would give you any ownership or residual value in furniture or equipment during or after the term of the lease. This includes lease/rent to buy schemes and consumables, such as stationery, paper and toner cartridges)
  • repairs and maintenance that are the landlord’s responsibility. Note that a lease that places liability on the tenant for unusual charges, such as water connection, structural repairs and maintenance, may not represent value for money.

Claiming reimbursement

Satellite electorate office costs can be reimbursed on a monthly, quarterly or six-monthly basis. Claims should be sent to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS) electronically via the Parliamentary Expenses Management System (PEMS); or by completing Form 146 - Invoice Certification and Request for Reimbursement - Satellite Electorate Office, Courier or Freight Transfer Costs and Other, together with any supporting evidence required on the form or requested by MaPS.

A maximum of one claim per month will be accepted by MaPS. Each claim may include several types of claimable costs, such as rent, utilities and lease or hire costs for office furniture and equipment.

PEMS Log On

Form 146 - Invoice Certification and Request for Reimbursement - Satellite Electorate Office, Courier or Freight Transfer Costs and Other

Costs can only be claimed for the period that a person is/was a member of the House or Representatives.

Apart from the reimbursement of expenses, arrangements for a privately-leased satellite electorate office are the same as those for all privately funded offices.

Last updated: 26 August 2020