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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 6503

Mr TAYLOR —My question is addressed to the Minister for Administrative Services. Has the minister seen reports attributed last weekend to the shadow minister in relation to the parliamentary use of frequent flyer points? Are those claims valid and will the minister please reiterate for the benefit of all in this House the guidelines which he issued several months ago?

Mr JULL —It is the government policy that frequent flyer points accrued by senators and members in the course of official travel should be used to meet the cost of further official travel. Senators and members were requested to notify my department of the use of the points so that accurate records could be maintained. It is correct that no senator or member has formally notified the department that he or she has redeemed frequent flyer points since the introduction of the policy. I wrote to all senators and members in July advising them of the new procedures on the use of frequent flyer points. The fact that my department has not been formally notified of the use of the points suggests that some senators and members and their staff may not be aware of that requirement. So I am writing again to all senators and members to remind them of the procedures for using points and the importance of reporting their use to the department.

The government believes it is not acceptable to Australians that parliamentarians, or any others whose travel is paid for from the public purse, should obtain personal perks through doing their job. That is why the policy was introduced.