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Tuesday, 11 December 1973
Page: 2689

Senator Townley (TASMANIA) asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   What will be the estimated additional cost to the Commonwealth of the recently announced increased air fares. (2) What is the estimated total annual cost of air fares for all Government Departments within Australia. (3) Has the Government any plans to restrict first class air travel to a smaller percentage of Public Servants than at present.

Senator Willesee - The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   $2.5m in 1973-74 (for Government Departments- not including statutory authorities).

(2)   $26.2m in 1973-74 (not including statutory authorities).

(3)   As the Honourable Senator will be aware from answers provided in response to previous inquiries by him, the Public Service Board has had under review for some time the provisions of Public Service Regulation 84. This Regulation governs the class of travelling accommodation to which Australian public servants are entitled. To vary existing conditions e.g. to restrict the use of first class air travel- would require amendment of the Regulation. The review has not yet been concluded. The Board has been consulting the Permanent Heads of departments on the appropriate air travel standards for journeys by Australian public servants by air within Australia and overseas, and is pursuing with the interested policy departments the implications of restricting the use by public servants of first class air travel. The Senator will be aware that the Board also has an obligation to consult staff associations before final decisions in the matter are reached, paying due regard to the industrial implications.

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