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Wednesday, 16 October 2002
Page: 5245

Senator ABETZ (Special Minister of State) (11:23 AM) —Senator Harradine raises a good point. The situation in relation to members of parliament and also life gold pass holders, as I understand it, is that if you gain frequent flyer points they should be used only for the same purpose as the travel that got you those frequent flyer points—in other words, for us, it would be for our parliamentary and other business. I think most people would accept, especially in the current environment, that there is great difficulty in seeking to access frequent flyer points. One person in Hobart recently told me that they could use their frequent flyer points to get to Canberra but they would have to fly to Brisbane and then back to Canberra, because there were a few empty seats on a flight from Brisbane. So the use of frequent flyer points is very often grossly inconvenient and does not allow you to match up flights for your purpose—I know that, from time to time, my staff time have looked at it and there are real problems with it. But the concept and the idea is a good one, and I would encourage life gold pass holders to use their frequent flyer points to lessen the cost to the Australian taxpayer.