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Tuesday, 25 March 1997
Page: 3062

(Question No. 1405)

Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 3 March 1997:

(1) Has the Minister undertaken ministerial travel overseas since 18 September 1996; if so (a) how many visits has the Minister undertaken, (b) what was the duration of each visit and (c) which countries were visited.

(2) What has been the cost of each overseas visit the Minister has undertaken since entering the Ministry.

(3) Has the Minister utilised frequent flyer points for overseas or internal flights on official business in accordance with the direction issued by the Minister for Administrative Services in April 1996; if so, to what extent were points used and on which overseas visits were they used; if not, why not and what action is being taken.

Mr Howard —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(a) 2.

(b) (i) 5 days (22-26 November 1996); (ii) 3 days (15 to 17 February 1997).

(c) (i) Philippines; (ii) New Zealand.

(2) The following information has been supplied by the Department of Administrative Services as at 11 March 1997. However, it should be noted that all accounts pertaining to the visits may not yet be acquitted, particularly in relation to the Prime Minister's visit to New Zealand.

The figures provided by the Department of Administrative Services cover the cost of accommodation, meals, telephone and fax calls, airfares, passport costs, health vaccinations and trip associated medication, baggage insurance, car hire, ground transport, incidentals (tips and gratuities etc) and personal hospitality for the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's personal staff.

(i) $141,701 (Marshall Islands); (ii) $195,481 (Indonesia and Japan); (iii) $336,483 (Philippines); (iv) $1,028 (New Zealand).

(3) No. Apart from the Indonesia/Japan visit, all domestic and international travel was undertaken by special purpose aircraft.