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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1196


Senator Johnston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 13 November 2008:

(1)   For each agency within the responsibility of the Minister, in the period 1 April to 30 September 2008: (a) what was the department’s hospitality spend; and (b) for each departmental hospitality event, can the following details be provided (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, (iv) cost.

(2) (a)   For the Office of the Minister, what was the total hospitality spend in the period 1 April to 30 September 2008; and (b) for each hospitality event in the office, can the following details be provided: (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) purpose, and (iv) cost.


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)  

(a)   Defence: $917,803, inclusive of GST. This amount comprised: Representation allowances paid to members stationed overseas This expense related to Defence members required to represent the Defence organisation at official events while on duty overseas: $502,807 Other official entertainment costs incurred by Defence This expense included dinners for official visitors from overseas and refreshment costs for events that marked significant achievements and involved attendance by people external to Defence: $414,996 Defence Housing Australia: $29,884, exclusive of GST.

(b)   Defence’s financial systems do not include the detailed breakdown requested. However, Defence’s Chief Executive Instruction on official hospitality requires written records of attendees, venue, delegate’s approval and final costs to be kept. These records are maintained on individual files across Defence Groups and the Services. To collate information manually solely for the purpose of answering this question would be a major task and I am not prepared to authorise the expenditure and effort that would be required.

(2)  

(a)   Minister for Defence: $3,126.25, inclusive of GST. Minister for Defence Science and Personnel: $753.75, inclusive of GST.

(b)   Minister for Defence:

(i)   28 May 2008.

(ii)   Aubergine Restaurant, Canberra.

(iii)   Dinner for UK Secretary of State for Defence, the UK Chief of the Defence Staff and 13 other guests.

(iv)   $2,057.00.

(i)   29 May 2008.

(ii)   Parliament House, Canberra.

(iii)   To meet with visiting UK Defence delegation.

(iv)   $65.75.

(i)   2 July 2008.

(ii)   Daniels Steakhouse, Sydney.

(iii)   To meet with newly appointed Service Chiefs.

(iv)   $449.50.

(i)   21 July 2008.

(ii)   Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney.

(iii)   White Paper team to provide Minister with an update on progress.

(iv)   $554.00. Minister for Defence Science and Personnel:

  (a)  

(i)   2 June 2008.

(ii)   Parliament House, Canberra.

(iii)   Defence Women’s Roundtable.

(iv)   $165.75.

(i)   17 June 2008.

(ii)   Parliament House, Canberra.

(iii)   Defence Women’s Roundtable.

(iv)   $145.75.

(i)   19 June 2008.

(ii)   Parliament House, Canberra.

(iii)   Defence Women’s Roundtable.

(iv)   $185.75.

(i)   4 June 2008.

(ii)   Parliament House, Canberra.

(iii)   Defence Women’s Roundtable.

(iv)   $145.75.

(i)   27 June 2008.

(ii)   Parliament House, Canberra.

(iii)   Defence Women’s Roundtable.

(iv)   $110.75.