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Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Page: 5280


Senator Ronaldson asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General and Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs, upon notice, on 25 November 2008:

Has the Minister or any associated Parliamentary Secretary travelled overseas on parliamentary or ministerial business since 25 November 2007; if so, for each trip:

(1)   What was the purpose?

(2)   How many nights were spent overseas?

(3)   What were the dates and venues?

(4)   How many meetings did the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary attend.

(5)   How many departmental and/or personal ministerial staff accompanied the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary.

(6)   What was the aggregate cost?

(7)   Can an itemised account be provided of the costs for the following: (a) transportation; (b) travel allowance; (c) accommodation; (d) meals; and (e) other expenses, paid for by the Commonwealth in relation to the Minister, Parliamentary Secretary and their staff


Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The Attorney-General and the Minister for Home Affairs have provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The Attorney-General undertook five ministerial overseas visits during the period 25 November 2007 to 25 November 2008. Details of the each of the visits are provided in the table at Attachment A.

The Minister for Home Affairs undertook six ministerial overseas visits during the period 25 November 2007 to 25 November 2008. Details of each of the visits are provided in the table at Attachment B.

With respect to questions 6 and 7, costs of official travel by ministers, parliamentary secretaries, accompanying spouses (where relevant) and accompanying staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 are paid for by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. Dates, destinations, the purpose and aggregate costs of all official overseas travel are tabled in the Parliament every six months in a report titled ‘Parliamentarians’ Travel Paid by the Department of Finance and Deregulation’.

   Attorney-General

Attachment A

Attorney-General’s Portfolio - Overseas Ministerial Travel

Attorney-General

Attorney-General

Attorney-General

Attorney-General

Attorney-General

Trip Number

1

2

3

4

5

Country

Indonesia

UK, USA

New Zealand

United Kingdom

New Zealand

City/s

Jakarta

London, Washington DC

Wellington

Edinburgh

Christchurch, Canterbury

Period of travel

28-29 January 2008

31 March - 11 April 2008

13-15 June 2008

5-12 July 2008

23-27 July 2008

Nights overseas

N/A

11 nights

2 nights

7 nights

4 nights (1)

Number of meetings

N/A

34 meetings

2-day ANZLF program

4-day CLMM program

2 meetings + 2-day SCAG program

Purpose

Attend funeral of former Indonesian President Suharto

Meet with ministerial counterparts and senior government officials in relation to counter-terrorism, civil justice and other bilateral issues

Attend Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF)

Attend Commonwealth Law Minister's Meeting (CLMM)

Attend Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) Signing of Trans-Tasman Treaty on Court Proceedings and Regulatory Enforcement

Number of accompanying staff

N/A

One

One

One

Two

Number of accompanying family

N/A

N/A

One

N/A

Three (2)

Number of accompanying Departmental officials

N/A

One (AGD)

N/A

Two (AGD)

Four (AGD) (3)

Cost of Departmental officials travel

  $ 15,684.00

  $ -

  $ 23,916.00

  $ 10,216.00

Cost of Departmental officials accommodation

  $ 4,559.00

  $ -

  $ 4,350.00

  $ 1,439.00

Cost of Departmental officials other costs

  $ 1,977.00

  $ -

  $ 2,821.00

  $ 1,007.00

Total Departmental costs

  $ -

  $ 22,220.00

  $ -

  $ 31,087.00

  $ 12,662.00

Notes

(1) - The Attorney-General's visit to New Zealand was for a total of four days, with two of these days taken as leave approved by the Prime Minister. All costs borne during the period of leave were met personally by the Attorney-General.

(2) - The Attorney-General was accompanied by his wife and by two children on the visit to New Zealand. All costs associated with the children were met personally by the Attorney.

(3) - The four Department officials who accompanied the Attorney-General and Minister on the visit to New Zealand also participated in other meetings, and some of their costs relate to this work. One official travelled primarily for the treaty signing and related meetings, and did not attend SCAG.

   Minister for Home Affairs

Attachment B

Attorney-General’s Portfolio - Overseas Ministerial Travel

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

Minister for Home Affairs

1

2

3

4

5

6

Indonesia

PNG

Samoa

East Timor

New Zealand

Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand

Jakarta

Madang

Apia

East Timor

Canterbury

Semarang, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok

23-27 February 2008

22-24 April 2008

8-11 June 2008

2-5 July 2008

23-25 July 2008

2-10 August 2008

3 nights

2 nights

3 nights

3 nights

2 nights

8 nights

10 meetings

2-day APNGMF program

7 meetings

13 meetings

2-day SCAG program

22 meetings

Meet ministerial counterparts and senior government officials in relation to law enforcement, border protection and legal assistance initiatives

Attend Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum (APNGMF)

Meet ministerial counterparts and senior government officials in relation to law enforcement, border protection and legal assistance initiatives

Meet ministerial counterparts and senior government officials in relation to law enforcement, border protection and legal assistance initiatives

Attend Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG)

Joint visit with Minister for Immigration and Citizenship to meet ministerial counterparts and key regional partners on irregular migration, people smuggling and trafficking matters

One

One

N/A

One

One

One

One

N/A

One

N/A

N/A

One

Three (Two AGD, One ACS)

N/A

N/A

One (AFP)

Four (AGD)

Three (One AFP, One AGD, One ACS)

  $ 25,714.00

  $ -

  $ -

  $ 3,235.00

Included in AG Visit # 4

  $ 21,662.00

  $ 1,399.00

  $ -

  $ -

  $ 399.00

  $ 3,120.00

  $ 861.00

  $ -

  $ -

  $ 31.00

  $ 2,647.00

  $ 27,974.00

  $ -

  $ -

  $ 3,665.00

  $ -

  $ 27,429.00