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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1173

Senator Minchin asked the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, upon notice, on 25 August 2008:

Did the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary within the Minister’s portfolio travel during July or August 2008; if so:

(1)   Where did the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary travel.

(2)   What was the duration of the travel.

(3)   What was the purpose of the travel.

(4)   For each country visited, what was the total cost to the tax payer of: (a) travel; (b) accommodation; and (c) any other expenses.

(5)   How many personal staff accompanied the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary.

(6)   How many family members accompanied the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary.

(7)   In regard to staff and family accompanying the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary, what was the total cost of: (a) travel; (b) accommodation; and (c) any other expenses.

(8) (a)   How many departmental officers accompanied the Minister/Parliamentary Secretary; and (b) what was the total cost of their: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

Senator Chris Evans (Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship made one overseas visit from 5 to 12 August 2008 to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

(2)   Seven days.

(3)   The purpose of the travel was to hold discussions with ministerial counterparts on irregular migration and the prevention and deterrence of people smuggling and trafficking in the region.

(4)   The costs for the Minister are set out below:

(a)   Travel - $6,110.90

(b)   Accommodation - $1,450.00

(5)   and (7) The Minister’s Chief of Staff accompanied him. The costs for the Chief of Staff are set out below:

(a)   Travel - $6,763.10

(b)   Accommodation - $1,350.00

(6)   None.

(8)   The Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship accompanied the Minister. The costs for the Secretary are set out below:

(i)   Travel - $8,650.00

(ii)   Accommodation - $1,400.00

For questions 4 (c), 7(c) and 8 (iii), costs for the whole travelling party are in the order of $19,520, covering security, ground transport, travelling allowance, official hospitality, a charter flight to a refugee camp, gifts and miscellaneous expenses.


  • costs are based on information provided by Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) and reconciliation of costs processed by Posts as at 17 February 2009; and
  • extracts of the Finance report on costs provide exact amounts of expenditure. Otherwise, costs are rounded to the nearest $50.