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Tuesday, 23 August 1994
Page: 158

(Question No. 1511)

Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 29 June:

  (1) How many airfares were used in the month of November at a cost of $251 058.52, through Qantas, by the Australian Industrial Registry.

  (2) How many airfares were purchased through Qantas at a cost of $264 768.86 the previous month by the Australian Industrial Registry.

  (3) Who flew on these airfares.

  (4) Where were the flights taken to and from.

  (5) What is the cost of airfares to the whole department every month for the past 24 months.

  (6) Why were the flights referred to in (1) and (2) taken.

Senator Robert Ray —The Minister for Industrial Relations has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) 349. Of these, members of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) and staff booked 313 (89.7%), and staff of the Australian Industrial Registry (AIR) booked 36 (10.3%). As Qantas is the travel agent for the AIR, the cost of tickets purchased on all other airlines is included in the monthly account.

  (2) 343 for members of AIRC and staff (92.7%) and 27 for AIR staff (7.3%).

  (3) The majority of flights were undertaken by Presidential members and Commissioners of the AIRC and their personal staff for the purpose of conducting AIRC business throughout Australia. AIR travel was for staff engaged on Registry business.

  (4) Copies of Qantas Airways Limited invoices dated 31 October 1993 and 30 November 1993 which show the name of the traveller, destination and date of movement have been provided to the honourable senator and additional copies are available from the Senate table office.

  (5) Information on the cost of airfares to the Department of Industrial Relations for the past 24 months provided by Traveland, its contracted travel agent, is shown below:

1992-93 1993-94

July Not available 33,567

August 80,365 61,427

September 112,740 86,149

October 46,209 43,383

November 66,849 201,673

December 9,048 242,304

January 12,681 31,779

February 551,206 29,399

March 67,831 143,065

April 174,067 90,423

May 114,198 291,995

June 452,292 412,143

  The month-to-month variation in the above data reflects a number of factors, including: the annual cost of travel associated with the International Labour Conference held in Geneva in May-June of each year; and the fact that the data is based on the timing of the receipt of Traveland accounts rather than the date of travel.

  (6) To undertake AIRC and AIR business including: hearings; inspections and other activities associated with matters notified to the AIRC. These are normally conducted where the dispute has occurred, for the convenience of the parties. It is not an uncommon occurrence for hearings and inspections to be held in provincial cities and isolated rural areas.