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Parliamentarians may claim an allowance for accommodation, meals and incidental expenses for each overnight stay in accommodation in Australia that is not their home base.
Parliamentarians must apply the obligations when claiming these allowances, ensuring that any expenses claimed are for the dominant purpose of parliamentary business, that it represents value for money, that the expense is incurred in good faith, and be prepared to publicly defend the expense. Once the principles are applied, travel allowance may be claimed anywhere in Australia for the purpose of conducting parliamentary business, subject to the following limit:
Travel allowance is limited to 10 nights in a financial year when the dominant purpose is for conducting the parliamentarian's:
- party political duties at a location other than Canberra
- electorate duties at places outside the parliamentarians's electorate
Note: a night in transit can be claimed for the purpose of facilitating travel for the above reasons, and the night in transit would be debited from the 10 night limit.
The travel allowance rates are set by the Remuneration Tribunal.
Travel allowance rates vary depending on the travel location. The current rates are published at Parliamentarians’ travelling allowance rates.
- Commercial accommodation means accommodation in a commercial establishment such as a hotel, motel, or serviced apartment. Parliamentarians must provide a receipt for the commercial accommodation, or indicate that the receipt is available on request.
- Non-commercial rates are paid for stays in non-commercial accommodation, such as the home of a family member or friend.
- In Canberra, there is one standard travel allowance rate and therefore no distinction between commercial and non-commercial rates.
Parliamentarians may claim private vehicle allowance when travelling between their home base and Canberra in a private vehicle. The travel by private vehicle may be for all or part of the journey.
The allowance can cover fuel and other running costs for a parliamentarian to travel between their home base and Canberra in the parliamentarian's private vehicle.
The definition of a ‘private vehicle’ in relation to a parliamentarian, or a family member or a parliamentarian:
- includes any vehicles owned by the parliamentarian or a family member
- does not include a private plated vehicle provided by the Commonwealth.
The private vehicle allowance rate is not subject to withholding tax, up to 5,000km per financial year. After 5,000km, IPEA withholds tax in accordance with ATO requirements.
- Office holders travelling allowance rates - effective 25 August 2019
- Parliamentarians' travelling allowance rates - effective 25 August 2019
- Employees travelling allowances rates - effective 1 July 2020
- For travel related queries, contact IPEA on phone (02) 6215 3000 or email enquiries [at] ipea.gov.au.
- Parliamentarians' Travel and/or Private Vehicle Claim Form [PDF 570 KB]
- For information about travel allowance rates set by the Remuneration Tribunal, see the Remuneration Tribunal (Members of Parliament) Determination 2021.
- Additional information on new expenses framework and can be found on the Legislative Framework page.
- For advice on all non-travel related work expense matters, email Ministerial and Parliamentary Services at mpshelp [at] finance.gov.au or call (02) 6215 3333.