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Thursday, 24 February 1977
Page: 500

Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member for Corio (Mr Scholes) raised a specific point incorporated in an article written by Mr Darmody in the Daily Mirror of 15 February 1977. Among a miscellany of allegations, it was written that members of Parliament are exploiting 'a loophole in legislation which permits an MP to claim an allowance while living in his electorate. The loophole permits MPs to name Canberra as their home base.' His article continued by claiming that 'government sources' confirmed that some senior politicians were collecting their daily $37.00 at least 250 days of the year/It was this which the honourable member for Corio drew to my attention.

The allegation is false. Clause 1.8 of the Remuneration Tribunal's 1976 review provides that 'for the purpose of payment of travelling allowance the "home base" shall be the home of a senator or member unless he nominates otherwise to the Minister for Administrative Services. ' No member has nominated Canberra or any other place other than his place of residence as his 'home base'. The only circumstances whereby a member can claim a travelling allowance whilst within his electorate are limited to those members who are required to travel more than 150 kilometres from their 'home base' on parliamentary or electoral business within the electorate. Under such circumstances an allowance of $37 per overnight stay is payable for up to 12 overnight stays per annum.

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