Travel within Australia

Parliamentarians

On this page you will find information on parliamentarians' travel under the parliamentary business resources (PBR) framework.


Travel obligations

Parliamentarians may travel within Australia at Commonwealth expense if it meets the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 (PBR) obligations:

  • Dominant purpose: travel is undertaken and related expenses claimed are for the ‘dominant purpose’ of conducting parliamentary business
  • Value for money: parliamentary resources are used for parliamentary business in a way that achieves value for money (using public money efficiently, effectively and economically)
  • Conditions: all travel and claiming conditions are met
  • Good faith: parliamentarians must act ethically and in good faith when using parliamentary business resources
  • Personal responsibility & accountability: parliamentarians are personally responsible and accountable for their use of public resources, and must consider how the public would perceive their use of those resources.

Commercial transport

Parliamentarians may travel at Commonwealth expense on both scheduled and unscheduled commercial transport.

Scheduled commercial transport

is transport operated on a commercial basis with a standard timetable, and includes travel by:

  • commercial aircraft
  • buses
  • ferries
  • trains.

 Parliamentarians cannot claim scheduled commercial fares for:

  • commercial aircraft travel where it is either above business class or the cost is more than a business class fare
  • road tolls, fines, penalties, or associated administrative costs (for example, the administration fee charged by a toll company to issue a toll).

Unscheduled commercial transport

is transport operated on a commercial basis without a standard timetable, and includes travel by:

  • hired vehicles
  • taxis
  • regulated ridesharing
  • chartered transport.

Unscheduled commercial transport used at Commonwealth expense must be a commercial arrangement, meaning:

  • the transport provider must be a legally registered entity
  • the arrangement is at ‘arms length’ and there is no perceived or actual conflict of interest.

Within Australia, one or more people, other than family members, may travel with a parliamentarian by unscheduled commercial transport if:

  • the parliamentarian could ordinarily travel without the other person/s
  • no additional costs are incurred to transport the other person/s
  • the travel by the other person/s is reasonably required for the conduct of the parliamentarian's parliamentary business.

Transport in large electorates

Parliamentarians with large electorates, those greater than 10,000 km2, have access to a ‘Transport in Large Electorates’ (TILE) budget.

The TILE budget may be used to travel by unscheduled commercial transport, for example by charter plane or bus, for the dominant purpose of conducting electorate duties in the electorate.

The Remuneration Tribunal sets the TILE budgets, which are financial year based.

Senators

  • for New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or Tasmania—$14,860 or a senator for Queensland or Western Australia—$26,490
  • for the Northern Territory—$65,760

Members

  • of the House of Representatives with an electorate area of at least 300,000 km2 —$120,000
  • of the House of Representatives with an electorate area of at least 100,000 km2 but less than 300,000 km2—$38,190
  • of the House of Representatives with an electorate area of at least 25,000 km2 but less than 100,000 km2—$21,160
  • of the House of Representatives with an electorate area of at least 10,000 km2 but less than 25,000 km2—$10,420.

Using a Private plated vehicle (PPV)

The Commonwealth provides parliamentarians with a private plated vehicle (PPV) for a range of uses, such as travelling within, and for the service of their electorate, and private travel.

Key limitations on the use of a PPV

  • Parliamentarians cannot claim unscheduled commercial transport costs for travel within their electorate if they could reasonably use their private plated vehicle for that journey, where the parliamentarian has a private plated vehicle.
  • Parliamentarians who choose the ‘PPV allowance’ instead of a PPV, are expected to use the PPV allowance to cover the cost of their travel by unscheduled commercial transport or COMCAR costs where they would otherwise have used their PPV.
  • A PPV cannot be used for commercial purposes (for example as a paid shuttle service).
  • Private vehicle allowance cannot be claimed for travel in a PPV.

Please contact IPEA—on 02 6215 3000 or enquiries [at] ipea.gov.au—if you have questions about the use of PPVs.

For queries about PPVs’ administration (for example orders, fuel cards and PPV reimbursements), please contact the SGFleet MaPS Manager on 03 6242 2102 or email MPSVIP [at] sgfleet.com

Travel by Commonwealth transport

Parliamentarians may use Commonwealth transport for the purpose of conducting their parliamentary business. The circumstances in which Commonwealth transport may be used are set out in the Parliamentary Business Resources (Commonwealth Transport) Determination 2017

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