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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1198


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

For the period 1 April to 30 September 2008:

(1) (a)   Did the Minister or associated Parliamentary Secretary travel overseas on official business; if so: (i) to what destination, (ii) for what duration, and (iii) for what purpose; and (b) what was the total cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

(2) (a)   Which ministerial staff accompanied the Minister or associated Parliamentary Secretary; and (b) for these staff, what was the cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

(3) (a)   Which departmental officers accompanied the Minister or associated Parliamentary Secretary on each trip; and (b) for these officers, what was the total cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) any other expenses.

(4) (a)   Apart from ministerial staff and departmental officers, who else accompanied the Minister or associated Parliamentary Secretary on each trip; and (b) for each of these people, what was the total cost of: (i) travel, (ii) accommodation, and (iii) 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) Please refer to the Parliamentarians’ travel costs paid for by the Department of Finance and Deregulation report. This report is tabled biannually and gives details of the dates, purpose, destinations and cost of travel. Further information on ministerial visits is available on ministerial websites, media releases and media reports.

Minister for Defence’s trip to Romania, 1-6 April 2008:

(3)  

(a)   Nick Warner (Secretary of Defence) ACM Angus Houston (Chief of the Defence Force) Julie Roberts (Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Defence) COL Fergus McLachlan (then Chief of Staff to the CDF) CPL Daniel Kenneday (Signaller)

(b)  

(i)   $66,250.61

(ii)   $5,919.20

(iii)   $17,264.94

(4)   No one, apart from those mentioned above, accompanied the Minister on this visit.

Minister for Defence’s trip to Turkey and the Middle East, 22-30 April 2008:

(3)  

(a)   AIRMSHL Geoff Shepherd (then Chief of Air Force) WGCDR Mark Paterson (Staff Officer) FLTLT Anita Kretschmann (then Aide de Camp to CAF) WOFF Ray Woolnough (Warrant Officer of the Air Force) Andrew Anderson (Strategic Communications Adviser) CAPT Ben Alward (then Aide de Camp to the Minister for Defence)

(b)  

(i)   $96,397.51

(ii)   $10,762.06

(iii)   $7,455.04

(4)  

(a)   Mrs Anne Shepherd (spouse of the previous Chief of Air Force) Federal Agent Ben McIntyre (Australian Federal Police)* Professor Scott Holmes**

*The Australian Federal Police does not provide detail on security arrangements or protection costs for the Minster as doing so may breach the Minister’s security.

** Professor Holmes travelled with the Minister for Defence on the ANZAC Day trip at no cost to the Government.

(b)  

(i)   $19,485.00 (Mrs Shepherd only)

(ii)   Nil.

(iii)   $665.00 (Mrs Shepherd only)

Minister for Defence’s trip to Singapore, 30 May to 2 June 2008:

(3)  

(a)   ACM Angus Houston COL Fergus McLachlan Simeon Gilding (First Assistant Secretary International Policy) CAPT Ben Alward Dr Robert McGregor (International Policy Division) Jacqueline Boorsboom (International Policy Division)

(b)  

(i)   $31,728.88

(ii)   $15,130.04

(iii)   1,685.67

(4)   No one, apart from those mentioned above, accompanied the Minister on this visit.

Minister for Defence’s trip to the Solomon Islands, 9-10 September 2008:

(3)  

(a)   BRIG Andrew Nikolic (Acting First Assistant Secretary Regional Engagement) CAPT Ben Alward

(b)  

(i)   $1,876.17 (one-way airfare for BRIG Nikolic to meet party). A Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA) was used for this travel. Details regarding the costs of flights and passenger manifest can be found in the Schedule of Special Purpose Flights, which is tabled biannually. The schedule for 1 July to 31 December 2008 will be tabled in June 2009.

(ii)   Nil.

(iii)   $268.94

(4)   No one, apart from those mentioned above, accompanied the Minister on this visit.

Minister for Defence’s trip to Indonesia and East Timor, 17-19 September 2008:

(3)  

(a)   BRIG Andrew Nikolic CAPT Ben Alward

(b)  

(i)   A SPA was used for this travel. Details regarding the costs of flights and passenger manifest can be found in the Schedule of Special Purpose Flights, which is tabled biannually. The schedule for 1 July to 31 December 2008 will be tabled in June 2009.

(ii)   Paid by the Indonesian Government.

(iii)   $581.55

(4)   No one, apart from those mentioned above, accompanied the Minister on this visit.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel’s trip to East Timor, 24-25 April 2008:

(3)  

(a)   Phil Minns (Deputy Secretary People Strategies and Policy) MAJGEN Michael Slater (then Head People Capability) CAPT Robbie Turner (then acting Aide de Camp to Mr Snowdon)

(b)  

(i)   $145.91, Aide de Camp only, pre-departure.

(ii)   $118.88, Aide de Camp only, pre-departure.

(iii)   $170.91, Aid de Camp only.

(4)   No one, apart from those mentioned above, accompanied the Minister on this visit.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel’s trip to France, Belgium and the United Kingdom, 27 September to 4 October 2008:

(3)  

(a)   MAJGEN Michael O’Brien (Senior Army Representative - Fromelles Project) CAPT Elisabeth Barnett (then acting Aide de Camp to Mr Snowdon)

(b)  

(i)   $19,057.77

(ii)   $9,315.87 (MAJGEN O’Brien remained in London for additional work relating to the visit and project).

(iii)   $4,393.46

(4)   No one, apart from those mentioned above, accompanied the Minister on this visit.

The honourable senator should note that the information provided above covers the months of April, May, June and September 2008 only. For details concerning the months of July and August 2008, please refer to my response to Senate Question on Notice No. 696.