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Thursday, 16 February 2017
Page: 1132


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (11:28): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: The electorate allowance which is determined by the independent Remuneration Tribunal is designed to meet unspecified costs that are necessarily incurred by senators in providing services to their constituents. There is a wide discretion for individual parliamentarians in how this allowance can be spent, as should be the case, as every electorate has different needs. Senators are advised in the handbook and the ruling from the Australian Taxation Office about the electorate allowance, and all senators should abide by this ruling.