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Monday, 7 September 2009
Page: 5848


Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, upon notice, on 16 June 2009:

(1) (a)   Can an itemised list be provided of how much the department has spent on hospitality since 24 November 2007; and (b) of this, how much was spent on alcohol.

(2)   For each Minister and any associated parliamentary secretary: (a) can an itemised list be provided of how much each office has spent on hospitality since 24 November 2007; and (b) of this, how much was spent on alcohol.


Senator Chris Evans (Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1) (a)   From 24 November 2007 to 30 June 2009, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has recorded expenditure of some $488 905 on official hospitality. It is not possible to provide an itemised list of expenditure as a more detailed analysis of costs would require an unreasonable diversion of resources. However, the Department can advise the following:

(i)   Official hospitality typically involves foreign representatives in Australia and overseas, including the provision of small gifts. Additionally, official hospitality provided to representatives from non-government organisations and expert consultative forums on immigration, refugee, detention and humanitarian matters are also included.

(b)   As the Department of Immigration and Citizenship does not separately record alcohol purchases, to determine the amount spent on alcohol would require an unreasonable diversion of resources.

(2) (a)   and (b) Since 24 November 2007, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has spent $271.50 on portfolio-related hospitality. This cost relates to a function hosted by the Minister on 28 April 2008 to announce the results of the Citizenship Test. Of this cost, $92.00 was spent on alcohol. The Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services has spent $57.50 on portfolio-related hospitality since 24 November 2007. This cost relates to a function hosted by the Parliamentary Secretary on 25 September 2008 for visiting departmental Parliamentary Liaison Officers. No alcohol was provided at the function. Please note that these costs do not include portfolio-related official hospitality costs incurred during ministerial overseas visits. These costs are reported under ministerial overseas travel.