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A Bill for an Act to provide for comprehensive reduction of travel entitlements for former Members of the Parliament, and for related purposes
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Introduced HR 18 Aug 2003

Abolition of the Gold Travel Pass for Former Politicians (Reflecting Community Standards) Bill 2003
First Reading

Abolition of the Gold Travel Pass for Former Politicians (Reflecting Community Standards) Bill 2003
First Reading

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2002-2003

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Presented and read a first time

Abolition of the Gold Travel Pass for Former Politicians (Reflecting Community Standards) Bill 2003

No. , 2003

(Mr Organ)

A Bill for an Act to provide for comprehensive reduction of travel entitlements for former Members of the Parliament, and for related purposes

Contents

Part 1--Introduction       1

1       Short title 1

2       Commencement 2

3       Simplified outline 2

4       Definitions 3

5       Retirement from the Parliament 4

6       Appropriation 5

7       Schedule(s) 5

Part 2--Modification of Determination of Remuneration Tribunal       6

8       Modification of Determination of Remuneration Tribunal 6

Part 3--Travel entitlement of former Prime Ministers who have retired from the Parliament       7

9       Former Prime Ministers who have retired from the Parliament 7

10       Entitlements cannot be anticipated etc. 7

Part 4--Travel entitlements of members who retire from the Parliament       8

11       Members who retire from the Parliament 8

12       Widow or widower of member who dies 8

Part 5--Miscellaneous       10

13       Entitlement limited to travel 10

14       Class of travel 10

15       Entitlements not transferable 10

16       Use of official frequent flyer points 10

17       Operation of Act 11

18       Unauthorised travel--recovery of expenses 11

19       Transitional period 11

20       Regulations 12

Schedule 1--Repeal of the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002       13

A Bill for an Act to provide for comprehensive reduction of travel entitlements for former Members of the Parliament, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1--Introduction

1 Short title
        This Act may be cited as the Abolition of the Gold Travel Pass for Former Politicians (Reflecting Community Standards) Act 2003.

2 Commencement
       (1) Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, on the day or at the time specified in column 2 of the table.

Commencement information

Column 1


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Column 2

Column 3

Provision(s)

Commencement

Date/Details

1. Part 1 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent


2. Parts 2 to 5 and Schedule 1

1 January 2004, provided the Parliament has appropriated funds for the purposes of this Act.


Note:       This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally passed by the Parliament and assented to. It will not be expanded to deal with provisions inserted in this Act after assent.

       (2) Column 3 of the table is for additional information that is not part of this Act. This information may be included in any published version of this Act.

       (3) If the Parliament has not appropriated funds for the purposes of this Act by 30 December 2003, the provisions covered by item 2 of the table, do not commence.

3 Simplified outline
The following is a simplified outline of this Act:

•       This Act repeals the entitlement of former Members of the Parliament to severance travel and to hold a Life Gold Pass.

•       Part 2 deletes provisions in the Remuneration Tribunal Determination providing for payment of severance travel and relating to Life Gold Passes.

•       Part 3 establishes limited travel entitlements for former Prime Ministers.

•       Part 4 provides for payment of travel and other entitlements for a limited period to a person who retires from Parliament and to the widow or widower of a person who dies while a Member of the Parliament.

•       Part 5 sets out general conditions and arrangements for the payment of travel entitlements under this Act and transitional arrangements.

•       Schedule 1 repeals the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002.

4 Definitions
In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

Australia does not include an external Territory.

commercial purpose means a purpose relating to the derivation of financial gain or reward, whether as a board member, an office-holder, an employee, a self-employed person or otherwise.

domestic travel means travel that is:

       (a) wholly within Australia; and

       (b) not for a commercial or personal purpose; and

       (c) on a scheduled transport service or on a combination of scheduled transport services.

former member means a person who has retired from the Parliament.


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member means a member of either House of the Parliament.

personal purpose means a purpose solely or principally relating to the gratification of a need or desire of the person concerned and includes recreation, entertainment and visiting a relative or personal friend.

retirement from the Parliament has the meaning given by section 5.

scheduled transport service means:

       (a) a scheduled air service; or

       (b) a scheduled rail service; or

       (c) a scheduled bus service; or

       (d) a scheduled tram service; or

       (e) a scheduled ferry service; or

       (f) a scheduled vehicular service.

spouse, in relation to a member, includes a person who is living with the member on a genuine domestic basis, whether or not legally married to the member and whether or not of the same gender as the member.

trip includes a return trip or a trip with one or more stop-overs.

widow, in relation to a member, means the person who was the spouse of the deceased member at the time of his or her death.

widower, in relation to a deceased member, has the same meaning as widow.

year means:

       (a) the financial year beginning on 1 July 2004; or

       (b) a later financial year.

5 Retirement from the Parliament
       (1) For the purposes of this Act, a person retires from the Parliament when the person ceases to be a member.

       (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person is taken not to have ceased to be a member while he or she continues to be entitled to the Parliamentary allowance that was payable to him or her as a member.

       (3) This Act applies to retirement from the Parliament, whether the retirement occurs before, at or after the commencement of this section.

6 Appropriation
The cost of travel under this Act is to be paid out of funds appropriated by the Parliament for the purposes of this Act.

7 Schedule(s)
        Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.

Part 2--Modification of Determination of Remuneration Tribunal

8 Modification of Determination of Remuneration Tribunal
Determination 1998/26 (as amended) is modified by omitting Clauses 7.1 to 7.8 (Life Gold Pass) and Clauses 8.1 to 8.6 (Severance Travel).

Part 3--Travel entitlement of former Prime Ministers who have retired from the Parliament

9 Former Prime Ministers who have retired from the Parliament
       (1) A former Prime Minister who has retired from the Parliament is entitled to domestic travel at the expense of the Commonwealth up to a total of $2,000 per year.

       (2) The Remuneration Tribunal, from time to time, may determine another amount for the purposes of subsection (1), provided that any increase relates directly to increases in transport costs.

       (3) Entitlements under subsection (1) are in addition to any entitlements under Part 4 of this Act.

       (4) The regulations may prescribe:


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       (a) the process to be used for claiming and paying for trips; and

       (b) any requirements for presentation of documentation; and

       (c) methods for calculating pro rata adjustments of entitlements when a former Prime Minister retires during a year; and

       (d) such other arrangements as are necessary.

10 Entitlements cannot be anticipated etc.
       (1) If a person has entitlements under this Part in relation to a particular year, an unused entitlement may be carried forward from that year to a later year.

       (2) A person's entitlement to travel under this Part cannot be used or anticipated before the year or period in which the entitlement accrues.

Part 4--Travel entitlements of members who retire from the Parliament

11 Members who retire from the Parliament
       (1) A person who retires from the Parliament is only entitled to one return domestic trip to Parliament House for the purpose of collecting personal effects.

       (2) The following conditions apply to a trip taken under subsection (1):

       (a) the trip must be at economy class airfare or an equivalent or lesser cost; and

       (b) the trip must use the most direct route possible; and

       (c) the trip may take place on one or more forms of transport, whether scheduled or not, and from any location in Australia; and

       (d) the trip must be completed within four weeks from the day on which the retirement occurred.

       (3) The Remuneration Tribunal may make determinations regarding an entitlement under subsection (1), provided such determinations are in accord with the conditions set out in subsection (2).

12 Widow or widower of member who dies
       (1) The widow or widower of a person who dies while a member is only entitled to one return domestic trip to Parliament House for the purpose of collecting the personal effects of the member.

       (2) The following conditions apply to a trip taken under subsection (1):

       (a) the trip must be at economy class airfare or an equivalent or lesser cost; and

       (b) the trip must use the most direct route possible; and

       (c) the trip may take place on one or more forms of transport, whether scheduled or not, and from any location in Australia; and

       (d) the trip must be completed within eight weeks from the day on which the retirement occurred; and

       (e) the widow or widower of the member may nominate another person to undertake the trip on his or her behalf.

       (3) The Remuneration Tribunal may make determinations regarding an entitlement under subsection (1), provided such determinations are in accord with the conditions set out in subsection (2).

Part 5--Miscellaneous

13 Entitlement limited to travel
A person's entitlement under this Act to domestic travel is limited to travel at the expense of the Commonwealth on the scheduled transport service or services concerned.

14 Class of travel
Travel
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under Part 3 of this Act may be at any class.

15 Entitlements not transferable
Except as provided in paragraph 12(2)(e), a person's entitlement to travel under this Act cannot be transferred to, or used by, another person.

16 Use of official frequent flyer points
       (1) If:

       (a) a person has accrued frequent flyer points as a result of travel at the expense of the Commonwealth; and

       (b) as a result of a choice by the person, any or all of those points are used to enable the person to travel on a domestic trip; and

       (c) if the points had not been used, the traveller would have been entitled to the trip under this Act;

the traveller is taken to have used an entitlement under this Act in relation to the trip.

       (2) This section applies to frequent flyer points accrued after the commencement of this section.

       (3) Any frequent flyer points accrued by a member and his or her nominee as a result of travel at the expense of the Commonwealth before retirement from the Parliament cannot be used by or on behalf of the member or nominee after the member has retired from the Parliament and the points so accrued become the property of the Commonwealth at the time of the member's retirement.

17 Operation of Act
Parliamentary Entitlements Act

       (1) Nothing in this Act affects the operation of the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990.

Inconsistency with Remuneration Tribunal Determination

       (2) A determination of the Remuneration Tribunal has no effect to the extent to which it is inconsistent with this Act.

Pre-commencement trips

       (3) This Act does not affect an entitlement under a determination of the Remuneration Tribunal in relation to a trip, including a return trip, that began before the commencement of this section (even if the trip is completed after the commencement of this section).

18 Unauthorised travel--recovery of expenses
       (1) If:

       (a) a person travels at the expense of the Commonwealth; and

       (b) the travel is purportedly authorised under:

       (i) this Act; or

       (ii) a determination of the Remuneration Tribunal made in relation to this Act; and

       (c) the person was not eligible to travel at the expense of the Commonwealth;

the person is liable to pay to the Commonwealth an amount equal to the amount of the expenses incurred by the Commonwealth.

       (2) The amount may be recovered, as a debt due to the Commonwealth by the person, by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

19 Transitional period
        The regulations may prescribe such transitional arrangements as are necessary to apply during the period between the commencement of this section and 1 July 2004.

20 Regulations
The Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters:

       (a) required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or

       (b) necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

Schedule 1--Repeal of the Members of Parliament (Life Gold Pass) Act 2002

1 The whole of the Act

Repeal the Act.