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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 6 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1783..

Public servants-living away from home allowance

(Question No 160)

Mr Cornwell asked the Chief Minister, upon notice, on 14 May 2002:

(1) How many ACT public servants are still claiming living away from home allowances and what is the range of rates of payment of such allowances?

(2) What is the home town of each of these officers, for how long have they claimed such allowances, and what are the expiry dates for the contracts which still include living away from home benefits?

(3) For SES officers are there limits upon the time these allowances can be claimed under the current contracting system and if so, what are those limits?

(4) Prior to the current contracting system, were limits placed upon the time period for eligibility for such allowances; if so, what were those limits?

(5) Are long-term living away from home allowances paid to officers below SES levels; if so, at what level of payment; if not, why not if those officers are recruited from other cities?

Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

The information provided in this answer is based on details provided by all ACT Public Service agencies and relates to payments that have been made in the current financial year.

The authority for the payment of living away from home allowances (which for the purposes of this response, includes relocation allowance, reimbursement of relocation expenses, temporary accommodation/rental allowances and any payments of a similar nature) made to ACT public servants are contained in a variety of sources including the Public Sector Management Standards, Remuneration Tribunal Determinations, Certified Agreements and Australian Workplace Agreements.

The Remuneration Tribunal has determined relocation allowances for Executive level staff since April 1998. Before that date, these allowances were set through the Public Sector Management Standards.

(1) In the current financial year to date, 38 non-Executive staff and 5 Executive staff have been in receipt of some form of living away from home allowance (including

relocation allowance, reimbursement of relocation expenses, temporary accommodation/rental allowances, etc). Attachment A to this response details, by agency, the type of allowance(s) paid, as well as the amount paid.

Almost 50% of the 38 non-Executive staff who have received these allowances are located at The Canberra Hospital. The Canberra Hospital has recruited these staff (most of whom are medical specialists) from interstate to meet current staffing and skills shortages in the ACT.

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