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Tuesday, 23 August 1994
Page: 116

(Question No. 1336)


Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 27 April 1994:

  (1) Is it a fact that: (a) Telstra's New South Wales Network Construction Group had employees working in Coffs Harbour during the weeks commencing 18 and 25 April 1994; (b) a Mr R J Farrell, a CO4 with the New South Wales Network Construction Group, was working in Coffs Harbour during that period; and (c) Mr Farrell is based in Burwood, but lives in Frederickton.

  (2) Was Mr Farrell paid travelling allowance for the period 15 to 26 April 1993; if so, how is it applicable under existing human resource guidelines and who authorised payment of the allowance.


Senator McMullan —The Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1)(a) Yes. Based on information supplied by Telstra, a number of staff attached to Network Design and Construction, NSW Region have been on temporary transfer to Coffs Harbour prior to, during and after the period 18 to 25 April 1994.

  (b) Yes. Mr R J Farrell, a CO4 appointed to the Network Design and Construction Group, NSW Region was, based on information provided by Telstra, on temporary transfer with the CAN Construction Group at Coffs Harbour during and after the period 19 April 1994 to 25 April 1994.

  (c) Based on information supplied by Telstra, I am advised Mr Farrell lives at Frederickton near Kempsey. His temporary head station for the purposes of calculating travelling allowance is Kempsey Line Depot this being the nearest line depot to his home address in Frederickton. Mr Farrell's "Nominal Head Station" is Concord West as is the case with all External Construction Branch staff of Network Design and Construction Group, NSW Region. Staff employed in other branches of the Network Design and Construction Group are headquartered at Burwood and have Burwood as their Nominal Head Station.

  (2) Based on information provided by Telstra, Mr Farrell was paid travelling allowance for the period 15-26 April 1993 as part of a longer period of temporary transfer to Lismore, NSW.

  Telstra has advised that the payment of Travelling Allowance was deemed appropriate in this instance as Mr Farrell was required to travel a distance of 210 km from his home at Frederickton to Lismore, which necessitated an absence in excess of 12 hours per day. This was in accordance with Telecom's Human Resource Travelling Allowance Policy.

  Telstra has also advised that Mr Farrell was also paid travelling allowance for the period 19 April—25 April 1994 as part of a longer period of temporary transfer to Coffs Harbour NSW as Mr Farrell was required to travel a distance of 110 km from his home at Frederickton to Coffs Harbour which necessitated an absence in excess of 12 hours a day. This was in accordance with Telecom's Human Resource Travelling Allowance Policy.

  Telstra has advised that Mr Farrell's travelling allowance for both periods was duly authorised by a delegate with authority to approve travelling allowance.