Office types and office resources

Last updated
28 June 2021

To ensure value for money for the Commonwealth, you will generally be provided with the office that was vacated by your predecessor.

Electorate offices

The Commonwealth will provide you with one or more electorate offices, as determined by the Minister, for the conduct of your parliamentary business:

  • member of the House of Representatives representing an electoral division:
    • of less than 25,000km2 (see related resources) – one office within your electorate
    • between 25,000km2 and 350,000km2 (see related resources) – up to 2 offices within your electorate
    • larger than 350,000km2 (see related resources) – up to 3 offices within your electorate.
  • senator – one electorate office within the state or territory that you represent. The office may be located at your state or territory Commonwealth Parliament Offices (CPO), subject to availability.
  • Parliamentary Secretary – additional office space, in your (primary) electorate office where possible to accommodate any additional staff allocated to assist with your official duties.

Electorate offices are leased, furnished, equipped, and maintained by MaPS and their contracted providers. The number of offices in an electorate is determined by the Minister. Electorate offices must not be used for any commercial purpose.

Mobile offices

You may claim, against your office expenses budget, signage, facilities and equipment to assist you to conduct your parliamentary business at a mobile office within your electorate – for example, at community fairs, markets and exhibitions. 

Satellite electorate offices

Members of the House of Representatives representing an eligible electorate (see related resources) may claim reimbursement of certain expenses in relation to one privately leased satellite office.

You may claim reimbursement for costs incurred to lease, operate, maintain, establish or vacate a satellite office, as follows:

An electorate with an area of:

Maximum amount claimable (2021–22)

at least 3,500 km2 and less than 5,000 km2

$53,328.06 (including GST)*

at least 5,000 km2 and less than 25,000 km2

$53,328.06 (including GST)

25,000 km2 or more

$21,331.23 (including GST)

*requires the Minister’s express approval.

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 the reimbursement of eligible expenses.

Criteria for satellite office reimbursement

Reimbursement only applies if the commercial property lease is:

  • for a term of at least 3 months
  • entered into in your personal capacity (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 within your electorate*
  • for an office that is used for the dominant purpose of conducting your parliamentary business (it must not be used for commercial purposes).

*The Parliamentary Business Regulations 2017 define 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”.

Examples of costs that are reimbursable:

  • 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.

Costs not reimbursable include:

  • any cost that would give you any ownership or residual value in fitout, 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.

Only the total amount of expenses actually incurred in a financial year can be claimed, even if it is less than the maximum amount claimable for that financial year.

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.

Claiming reimbursement

Satellite electorate office costs can be reimbursed on a monthly, quarterly or six-monthly basis. Claims should be sent via PEMS or by completing the Invoice certification and request for reimbursement - satellite electorate office, courier or freight transfer costs and other (see related resources) form.

A maximum of one claim per month will be accepted. Each claim may include several types of claimable costs. Costs can only be claimed for the period that a person was a member of the House of 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.

Privately funded offices

In addition to your Commonwealth-leased electorate office(s), you may establish privately leased offices at your own expense and without the approval of the Minister. 

The Minister’s determination is needed if you want to transfer one of your electorate office telephone lines or move any items of office furniture or equipment to your privately funded office. You will not be permitted to transfer your postage meter. The transfer of any equipment or furniture must be at no cost to the Commonwealth. As the equipment and facilities are resources provided under the PBR Act, any transferred equipment and facilities must be used for the dominant purpose of conducting your parliamentary business and not for any commercial purposes.

Once the Minister’s determination is made, your MaPS state or territory office arranges the transfer of the telephone line, and furniture and equipment. All other arrangements for a privately funded office are your responsibility, including:

  • financial, legal and any other advice and costs
  • lease, fit-out,furniture and equipment
  • all associated costs including rent, outgoings, fees
  • all contractual and statutory obligations including work health and safety compliance and insurance cover for volunteers or persons privately employed by you
  • notifying the relevant Australian Federal Police liaison unit of the location of your privately funded office
  • cost of transfer of approved furniture and equipment (and their return when requested by MaPS or the Department of Parliamentary Services).

There is no connection to the Australian Parliament House Network (Extended Parliamentary Network) provided to a privately funded office. You and your employees would only be able to access the Extended Parliamentary Network remote access solution by installing the Microsoft Authenticator. Multi-Factor Authentication must be set-up for your Parliamentary Computing Network account. Assistance is available through the DPS 2020 Service Desk.

The Minister’s approval is required if any of your employees have a work base of your privately funded office. Contact the MaPS Help Desk to discuss.

Offices for Ministers and certain office holders

If you are:

  • a Minister (but not a Parliamentary Secretary)
  • a Presiding Officer
  • a senior office holder who is a member of the Opposition
  • the leader of a minority party

the Commonwealth will provide an office, as determined by the Minister, for your official duties. The office must not be used for any commercial purpose.

Your office is generally in addition to your electorate office, although you may request a combined Ministerial/electorate office or combined office holder/electorate office, as relevant. Where your offices are not combined, your office as a Minister or office holder:

  • will usually be located in the Commonwealth Parliament Offices (CPO) in the state or territory where you reside, but may be in another CPO
  • may be a separate office located elsewhere, usually in your capital city.

CPO suites are allocated by MaPS and are subject to availability.

Commonwealth Parliament Offices (CPO) visiting suites and facilities

CPO visiting suites, conference rooms and facilities are provided, on request, on a short-term basis for the conduct of your parliamentary business.

For full details and arrangements for booking in each CPO, including operating hours, facilities and meeting room types available at each location, read the relevant CPO pre-arrival guides (see related resources). Further information is available on CPO locations and contacts.

Parliament House offices

Every parliamentarian is provided with an office in Parliament House. Your use of this office is not subject to your obligations under the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 (PBR Act).

Ministerial Wing

Suites in the Ministerial Wing are allocated by the Minister following consultation with the Prime Minister's office. Wherever practicable, Ministers occupy the suites already fitted out by the relevant portfolio departments.

The MaPS Australian Capital Territory Office provides support for Ministerial Wing accommodation, including:

  • parking in the basement car park
  • supply of executive furniture for Ministers and a range of standard furniture for the Ministers’ employees
  • other amenities and equipment necessary for the function of the Minister’s office (e.g. refrigerator, microwave oven, television).

MaPS staff also co-ordinate and seek authorisation from suites in relation to the removal of any furniture or equipment, including the removal of furniture and equipment provided by portfolio departments.

Suites within the Senate and the House of Representatives

The allocation of suites within the Senate and the House of Representatives is determined by the relevant Presiding Officer, and furniture and equipment for these suites is provided by your parliamentary department.

Larger suites within the Senate and the House of Representatives at Parliament House are generally reserved for Parliamentary Secretaries, Presiding Officers, senior office holders who are members of the Opposition, and the leader of a minority party. Wherever practicable, Parliamentary Secretaries occupy the suites already fitted out by the relevant portfolio departments.

Resources for offices

The Minister may determine that the following resources are to be provided for the conduct of your parliamentary business in your electorate, Ministerial or office holder office. These resources must not be used for any commercial purpose:

Additional resources may be provided by portfolio or parliamentary departments to the offices of Ministers, Assistant Ministers and presiding offices outside the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 framework.

Office signage

The production and installation of office signage is managed and paid for by your MaPS state or territory office. This includes selecting the size, type, and number of electorate office signs, with a view to meeting the needs of constituents, providing equity, and achieving value for money.

Signage is provided to assist constituents and visitors to locate, identify and contact your office.  Signs may include:

  • your name
  • the name of your state/territory or electoral division
  • your party affiliation
  • your party logo OR the Commonwealth Coat of Arms
  • a photo of you
  • office opening hours
  • contact details, including office phone and fax numbers, email address, website, and your social media sites.

Office signage must conform to the terms of the applicable lease, as well as any local government requirements.

The Commonwealth will not meet the cost of the following:

  • free-standing and illuminated signs, unless such signage is already in place and its conversion represents value for money.
  • inclusion of any slogans or additional photographs or graphics, including background imagery
  • references on electorate office signage to any portfolios or positions held other than being a member or a senator, unless the signage is for a combined ministerial/electorate office
  • A-frame/ sandwich boards.

Advertising the location of your office

Your MaPS state or territory office can arrange and pay for newspaper advertising of the location of your electorate, Ministerial or office holder office, within certain guidelines.

If you are a:

  • member of the House of Representatives - advertisement of an office location may be placed in all major community newspapers in your electorate. The publications may include a major provincial newspaper serving the electorate, as well as suburban and rural papers, but not metropolitan daily newspapers.
  • senator - advertisement of an office location may be placed in three suburban or rural newspapers as well as in one metropolitan daily paper and a major provincial paper within the State or Territory that you represent.

Advertisements:

  • may only be run once at Commonwealth expense
  • must be black and white and contain only necessary details
  • are limited in size to two columns by 12 centimetres (or otherwise the smallest possible size if the minimum advertisement is beyond these limits).

Car parking

Where possible MaPS provides one car parking space for the parliamentarian at each electorate, Ministerial and office holder office. Car parking spaces are not provided for employees or visitors, unless additional car parking spaces are included as part of your lease agreement at no additional cost to the Commonwealth.

Flagpoles

One or more flagpoles may be installed at your electorate, Ministerial or office holder office to display the Australian National Flag, subject to office lease conditions and any relevant approvals and requirements.

Installation and value for money

Refer to the ‘Australian Flags’ booklet if you are considering requesting or displaying a flag.

You may request the installation of a flagpole outside your office and lighting, if the flag is to be flown at night. You may also request a flagstaff to display a flag approved by the Minister inside your office. 

The Minister determines when a flagpole/flagstaff should be provided to a parliamentarian, having regard to the lease conditions, relevant local government, and state or territory legislation. The Minister is responsible for ensuring that their determination provides value for money. You should be mindful of value for money when making a request for a flagpole or flagstaff. Value for money includes consideration of:

  • the purchase, installation, legal and approval costs of installing and illuminating a flagpole/s
  • the size and weight of the flag that is appropriate for where the flag is to be displayed.

Your MaPS state or territory manager is responsible for briefing the Minister and organising the installation and illumination of a flagpole. Flagpole and installation costs are not subject to your office expenses budget. Further information on ordering and displaying flags is available on the stationary, publications, flags, nationhood material and wreaths page.

Post office boxes

You may request a post office box for each of your electorate, Ministerial and office holder offices except offices located in Commonwealth Parliament Offices. To ensure value for money, the smallest sized PO box which is suitable for your parliamentary business will be provided. Post office boxes must not be used for any commercial purposes. Please contact your MaPS state or territory office to request a post office box.

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