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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1168

Senator Minchin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 25 August 2008:

(1)   Did the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary within the Minister’s portfolio attend any event at the Beijing Olympic Games; if so, which events did the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary attend.

(2)   Was the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary accompanied by: (a) family; (b) personal staff; and (c) departmental officials; if so how many.

(3)   Did any officials from the department attend the Beijing Olympic Games in their capacity as an employee of the Australian Government; if so, how many and in what capacity did they attend.

(4)   In regard to the attendance by the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary and/or departmental officials at the Beijing Olympic Games, what was the total cost of: (a) travel; (b) accommodation; and (c) any other expenses.

Senator Faulkner (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   and (2) No.

(3)   Yes. An Australian Army Colonel travelled to Beijing in his capacity as the Prime Minister’s medical officer. He did not attend any events at the Olympic Games.


(a)   and (b) Travel and accommodation costs for the Army Colonel were borne by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

(c)   Expenses incurred by Defence for the Colonel’s travel to and from the airport in Canberra: $40.