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Part 5: Meal allowance

4.5.1 Overview

This Part tells when a member, who has to work long hours, can get assistance with meals.

  1. The assistance may include an allowance to pay for meals.

  2. The member may have to pay towards the cost of their meals.

4.5.2 Purpose

Meal allowance assists a member to buy a meal if a Service-provided meal is not available.

See: Chapter 7 Part 9, Meals, for information relating to meals provided by the Commonwealth at low cost.

4.5.3 Member this Part applies to

This Part applies to a member who meets either of these conditions, unless section 4.5.4 applies.

  1. They are serving in Australia. This includes a member on Reserve service.

  2. Note: In the total workforce model, a member on Reserve service may be described as a member in Service category 3, 4 or 5. A member on Service option C is not a member on Reserve service.

  3. They are an applicant for entry into the ADF and section 2.1.4 applies to them.

    See: Chapter 2 Part 1 Division 1 section 2.1.4, Travel, accommodation and meal benefits – certain country applicants

4.5.4 Meal allowance not paid

Meal allowance is not paid for a meal period when any of these conditions are met.

  1. The member is eligible for travelling allowance or use of the travel card.

  2. The Commonwealth makes a meal available to the member.

  3. A meal is included in the fare for a journey.

  4. A transport operator makes a meal available to the member.

    Exception: An in-flight meal on a commercial aircraft does not count as a meal for this Part. Meal allowance is still payable to a member who gets an in-flight meal.

4.5.5 Meal period – definition

For a member who lives in, a meal period under this Part includes the periods when their mess provides meals.

4.5.6 Member who lives in

  1. This section applies to a member who lives in and pays a contribution for meals under Chapter 7 Part 9 Division 1 section 7.9.5. The member must meet one of these conditions.

    1. They are on duty away from their normal place of duty during a meal period.

    2. They are performing duty at their normal place of duty during a meal period.

    3. They perform extra duty before or after normal duty and one of these conditions is met.

      1. They get a meal break between the normal duty and the extra duty.

      2. They do not get a meal break after the normal duty. The extra duty runs until after the next meal period.

    4. Their normal place of duty is in a capital city. This applies for lunch only.

  2. The member is eligible for a meal allowance for the meal period. This is only if it is not reasonably practical for them to do one of the following.

    1. Return to their normal mess during the meal period.

    2. Get a meal at Commonwealth expense during the meal period.

4.5.7 Member who lives out

  1. This section applies to a member who lives out and buys a meal during a meal period.

  2. The member is eligible for a meal allowance for the meal period if they cannot go home for the meal for any of these reasons.

    1. They perform extra duty before or after normal duty and one of the following happens.

      1. They get a meal break between the normal duty and the extra duty.

      2. They do not get a meal break and the extra duty extends through the next meal period after the normal hours of duty.

    2. They are on duty at a place where the Commonwealth does not provide a meal and the duty meets one of these conditions.

      1. It starts three or more hours before their rostered time for starting duty.

      2. It finishes three or more hours after their rostered time for finishing duty.

    3. All of these circumstances prevent the member going home for lunch.

      1. They begin normal duty after a period of extra duty overnight.

      2. They cannot go home before starting the normal duty.

      3. They finish the normal duty at or after 1400 hours.

4.5.8 Country applicants to the ADF

  1. This section applies to a person who applies to be appointed or enlisted in the ADF.

  2. The person may be eligible for a meal allowance. They must meet all these conditions.

    1. They are required to have an examination or interview to check if they can be appointed or enlisted.

    2. They attend a recruiting centre for the examination or interview.

    3. They live at a location not served by the public transport system of the city or town where the recruiting centre is located.

    4. They travel between their home and the recruiting centre for a period that meets both these conditions.

      1. It does not extend overnight.

      2. It includes a period that would be a meal period under this Part.

    Exception: Meal allowance is not payable if a meal is provided at Commonwealth expense.

4.5.9 Rates of allowance

This table sets out the rates of meal allowance.

Meal allowance
Item If the meal is... then the rate of allowance is ($)...
1. breakfast 24.25
2. lunch under paragraph 4.5.6.1.d 11.10
3. any other lunch 27.65
4. dinner 47.70

Application to Reservists: Yes.



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