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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 262

Overseas Travel: Ministers Accompanied With Their Spouse

(Question No. 520)


Mr Conroy asked the Prime Minister in writing, on 21 October 2014:

Since 7 September 2013 can he list all trips undertaken by ministers accompanied by their spouse where the spouse (a) was not invited by a foreign government or host organisation, and (b) did not have an official program of events separate to that of the Minister; and what was the cost of each trip in parts (a) and (b).


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

Unlike the previous government, the Prime Minister has set out his expectations to Ministers in relation to Commonwealth funded overseas travel, including the cessation of taxpayer funded first class travel that occurred under the previous government. Any spouse travel should be an exception, not the rule, and will usually only be approved if costs are met personally by the Minister and accompanying spouse.

The final costs of international travel by ministers are reported to the Department of Finance and published every 6 months on the department's website at: http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/.