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Part 1: Basic travel benefits

9.1.1 Purpose

This Part describes a member's basic benefits for these aspects of their travel at Commonwealth expense.

  1. The means of their travel.

  2. The class of their travel.

  3. What the Commonwealth will pay for.

  4. What baggage they can take with them.

9.1.2 Travel overview

The following table gives an overview of how some key travel policies described in this Part relate to one another.

Overview
Item Policy Overview
1. Most economical means of travel
See:
Section 9.1.3, Most economical means of travel
Section 9.1.4, Air as most economical means of travel
Most economical means of travel determines the mode of travel the member may use. This takes into account things such as fares and salary costs.
Examples: The member may drive, fly, or use a train or a coach for a journey.
2. Lowest practical fare
See: Section 9.1.5
Lowest practical fare applies if the member is approved to travel by air. It is a means of selecting the flight the member must use for the travel.
3. Normal departmental liability
See: Section 9.1.7
Normal departmental liability applies if the member is approved to travel by means that are not the most economical means.It is a figure which is the result of a formula used to work out how much the Commonwealth will pay for the travel.
4. Class of travel
See: Section 9.1.9
Class of travel applies if the member is approved to travel by air.It sets out the class of ticket the member may use.
Example: Economy class.

9.1.3 Most economical means of travel

  1. The member is eligible for travel by the most economical means of public transport available to the Commonwealth.

  2. The CDF will determine the most economical means of travel after considering all these criteria.

    1. The availability of various means of travel.

      Examples: Coach, rail or air travel or rental vehicles.

    2. The fares and allowances for the member and any dependants.

    3. The estimated value of the member's salary and salary-related allowances for the travel time.

  3. This value is worked out in this way.

    (Fortnightly salary + allowances) ÷ 80

    where 80 is the number of hours worked in a fortnight (8 hours a day x 10 days). This formula applies whether travel occurs in or out of working hours.

    Example: A member has to travel between Perth and Alice Springs. To fly would cost an airfare and several hours' salary and allowances. Rail would cost two fares and several days' salary and allowances. Once the total costs are compared air is shown to be the most economical means of public transport.

    Non-example: A member has to travel between Darwin and Alice Springs. Rail, coach and air are all available options. However, no comparison needs to be made as section 9.1.4 provides that air is to be used.

  4. Defence will not provide coach travel for individual members or dependants if air or rail travel is available. However, the CDF could grant a member's request to travel by coach if both these conditions are met.

    1. The cost is the same or less.

    2. The time taken would not involve extra travelling leave.

  5. If the travel is leave travel, salary and salary-related allowances means all salary and allowances payable for recreation leave. These allowances are not included.

    1. Rent allowance.

    2. Hardship allowance.

    3. Overseas living allowances.

    See:
    Part 4, Leave travel
    Chapter 5 Part 4, Recreation leave

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 9.1.3.2 and subsection 9.1.3.4 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.
Commanding Officer (no rank limitation) – Navy

9.1.4 Air as the most economical means of travel

  1. Air travel is the most economical means for any of these journeys.

    1. To or from Darwin (except RAAF Base Tindal to or from Darwin).

    2. To or from Tasmania.

    3. Between a remote location and the nearest capital city.

      Note: The list of remote locations can be found at Annex 4.4.A.

    4. To or from Canberra when travelling on temporary duty.

      Exception: Travel between Canberra and Nowra or Jervis Bay. For these trips, self-drive hire car is the most economical means of travel. This is because there is no economical air or rail service.

    5. Between a place in an external territory and a place in Australia.

    6. If surface transport would involve an overnight journey and dependants include either of the following.

      1. A child under three years old.

      2. Two children under seven years old.

    7. If surface transport would involve a journey of at least two nights and dependants include either of the following.

      1. A child under seven years old.

      2. Two children under 10 years old.

  2. The CDF may decide that air travel is the most economical means of travel if any of these criteria are met.

    1. The difference in the cost of travel is small and there is a saving in travelling time.

    2. Air travel is justified given the official duties and expenses of the member travelling.

    3. Medical or compassionate reasons mean that travel by surface transport would be inefficient.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.1.4.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.
Commanding Officer (no rank limitation) – Navy

9.1.5 Lowest practical fare

  1. Lowest practical fare is the lowest fare for the day of travel when the travel is booked, having regard to whether all of the following conditions are met.

    1. It meets the business needs of the member.

    2. It is for a regular scheduled flight.

      Non-example: A charter flight.

    3. It is for travel that is scheduled to leave within 45 minutes of either of the following times.

      Note: The times do not include travel time to and from the airports, check-in times or security checks.

      1. The latest possible departure flight time for departure flights.

        Example: A member in Canberra has a meeting scheduled in Sydney which commences at 0930. To allow the member to arrive in Sydney in time to travel to the meeting the member determines that the latest flight time from Canberra is 0730. The flights that are to be considered for the lowest practical fare leave Canberra between 0645 and 0730.

      2. The earliest possible return flight time for return flights.

        Example: A member is returning to Canberra after a meeting in Sydney. The meeting finishes at 1500. Taking into consideration travel time from the meeting venue to the airport and check-in times, the member determines the earliest departure flight is at 1630. The flights that are to be considered for the lowest practical fare leave Sydney between 1630 and 1715.

      Example: A member is travelling from Sydney to Townsville for a meeting at 1300. The member has found that there are two flights available that meet the criteria of lowest practical fare and will allow the member to arrive in Townsville in time for the meeting.

      1. A connecting flight which travels from Sydney to Brisbane then to Townsville. The total travel time for this trip is 5.5 hours.

      2. A direct flight from Sydney to Townsville which takes 2.5 hours.

      The connecting flight has the lowest fare and it will arrive in Townsville in time for the meeting. However, the direct flight is a more effective use of the member's time as the timing and shorter flying times are more practical. Either flight can be chosen taking into consideration the member's circumstances for the travel.

  2. A member who travels by air must travel using the lowest practical fare at the class of travel they are eligible for in the table in subsection 9.1.9.1.

    See: Section 9.1.9, Class of travel

  3. Flexible fares may only be used when either of the following could occur.

    1. The scheduled meeting or event may not go ahead.

    2. The meeting or event times are likely to change.

  4. The following may not be considered when looking for the lowest practical fare.

    1. The airline.

    2. Type of aircraft.

    3. The provision of in-flight meals.

    4. Access to airline flight lounges.

    5. Airline reward, frequent flyer or loyalty points.

  5. A member who travels by a fare that is not the lowest practical fare must provide their reasons in writing.

    Related information: Department of Finance Resource Management Guide No. 404, Official Domestic Air Travel – Use of the Lowest Practical Fare.

  6. Note: A person who knowingly provides false information in an application for a benefit may face disciplinary action under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982.

9.1.6 Member choice – what the Commonwealth will pay

If a member is approved to travel by their own means, the Commonwealth will pay the lesser of these amounts.

  1. The normal departmental liability.

  2. The actual cost of the travel.

9.1.7 Normal departmental liability

  1. Normal departmental liability is what the Commonwealth would pay for a journey made by a member and any dependants authorised to travel to a place at Commonwealth expense. It includes these costs.

    1. The cost of travel to the place by the most economical means.

    2. The costs of travel to and from the relevant airports, railway stations and coach terminals.

    3. Any taxes or levies on the travel.

    Note: Normal departmental liability does not include goods and services tax (GST) on the fare.

  2. This table shows what happens when a member travels by means that are not the most economical means.

    Travel not the most economical means
    Item If the member travels by means that are... then the Commonwealth will pay...
    1. cheaper than the most economical means only the actual cost of their journey.
    2. more expensive than the most economical means up to the amount of the normal departmental liability.
  3. A member may travel as a passenger in a private vehicle or non-commercial aircraft when they are eligible for travel at Commonwealth expense. In this case, they are only eligible for meal and travel allowance up to what the Commonwealth would have paid for a journey by the most economical means.

    Note: The passenger may be travelling in a private vehicle belonging to another member. In this case, the member may have the rate of vehicle allowance increased for the distance they carry the passenger.

    See: Part 6, Vehicle allowance

  4. A member who travels on personal frequent flyer points will not be reimbursed the cost of their fare.

  5. The Commonwealth will not pay any amount based on normal departmental liability for a child under two years old who is transported by private vehicle.

  6. A member might choose to travel by a less direct route than the most direct route available. In this case, they must pay any excess costs to the Collector of Relevant Money in the Department of Defence.

  7. The following conditions apply to travel documents.

    See: Section 9.0.3, Definitions

    1. The Commonwealth may give a travel document to a specific person and permit them to use it for travel.

    2. If a travel document is used by a person who has not been permitted to use it under paragraph a, the person must repay the Commonwealth for any travel they have taken using the travel document.

    3. The Commonwealth may seek to recover the cost of any travel taken without its permission under paragraph b.

  8. The Commonwealth will not pay for an escort that a carrier requires to accompany a member's child.

9.1.8 Cost of air travel for working out normal departmental liability

  1. The cost of air travel for working out normal departmental liability is the fare that meets both these conditions.

    1. It is the fare quoted in the domestic fare matrix ('NDL column') issued to the Department of Defence by Qantas.

    2. It is at the class of travel that the member and any dependants are eligible to for the journey.

    Note: NDL means normal departmental liability.

    See: Section 9.1.7, Normal departmental liability

  2. For a child under two years old, a normal departmental liability will not apply unless the child is required to occupy an individual airline seat.

9.1.9 Class of travel

  1. A member and their dependants may be provided with travel at the class listed in the table for the member's rank, duties and flight when travelling by air.

    Class of air travel
    Item A member who is... and is travelling... is eligible for travel by...
    1. Brigadier or higher a. on a Canberra-Sydney flight when they are accompanying a dignitary business class.
    b. on a Canberra-Sydney flight when the flight is part of a continuous longer flight business class.
    c. on another Canberra-Sydney flight economy class.
    d. on another domestic flight business class.
    2. any of the following:
    1. Warrant Officer of the Navy
    2. Regimental Sergeant Major Army
    3. Warrant Officer of the Air Force
    a. on a Canberra-Sydney flight when travelling on Defence business and accompanying a dignitary business class.
    b. on a Canberra-Sydney flight when travelling on Defence business and the flight is part of a continuous longer flight business class.
    c. on another Canberra-Sydney flight when travelling on Defence business economy class.
    d. on another domestic flight when travelling on Defence business business class.
    e. on any other domestic flight
    Example: A member travels from Melbourne to Perth on reunion travel.
    economy class.
    3. Colonel or lower on a domestic flight economy class.
    4. staff officer required to travel with 3 star or higher on journey on a domestic flight business class.
    5. a Victoria Cross for Australia recipient travelling for representational duties on a domestic flight business class.
    6. an escort for a Victoria Cross for Australia recipient travelling for representational duties on a domestic flight business class.

    See: Part 3 Division 11, Travel for representational purposes

  2. A member and their dependants may be provided with travel at the class listed in the table for the member's rank, duties and flight when travelling by coach or rail.

    Class of travel by coach or rail
    Item A member who is eligible for travel by... and who holds the rank or duties of... is eligible for travel by...
    1. coach any rank highest class available.
    2. rail any rank first class.

    If first class is not available the member and dependants are eligible for travel by the highest class available.

    Exception: This exception applies if any part of the travel during a night is expected to be after midnight. The member and dependants are eligible for a sleeping berth, if available.
  3. A member who travels at a lower class than one listed in the table above is not eligible for any difference in cost between the fares.

  4. A dependant of the member who is eligible for travel at Commonwealth expense is eligible for travel by the same means and at the same class as the member. This is unless another rule provides differently.

9.1.10 Baggage – general

  1. A member travelling by the most economical means may take baggage up to a maximum weight. This table shows the baggage limits.

  2. Baggage limits
    Item If a member travels on... and their rank is... then their maximum baggage limit is...
    1. temporary duty of less than 6 weeks any rank
    78 kg.
    2.
    1. temporary duty of more than6 weeks, or
    2. posting, or
    3. ceasing continuous full-time service
    officer or warrant officer
    260 kg.
    any other rank
    156 kg.

    Note: In the total workforce model, continuous full-time service may be described as service in Service category 6 or 7. A member who is in Service category 3, 4 or 5 and Service option C is also on continuous full-time service.

  3. The maximum limit includes the baggage the carrier lets the member take on board as part of the fare.

  4. A carrier may carry only part of a baggage limit free of charge. In this case, the CDF may determine how the rest of the baggage is sent. The CDF may approve one these methods.

    1. Sending the remaining baggage by the most economical of these two means.

      1. With the member's furniture and effects.

      2. As unaccompanied baggage at Commonwealth expense.

    2. Allowing the member to carry it as excess accompanied baggage at Commonwealth expense. The CDF must consider whether the member needs access to the baggage during the journey or immediately after it.

  5. If the member chooses to travel by means that are not the most economical, the overall baggage limits in the table above will apply. The Commonwealth will pay no more for baggage than it would have paid for the most economical means and class of travel. The cost of any approved excess baggage will be included in working out the cost of travel by the most economical means.

  6. The Commonwealth will not pay the cost of insuring the member's baggage.

    Note: If baggage is included with furniture and effects, the insurance that relates to removals applies.

    See: Chapter 6 Part 5, Removals and storage

  7. If a member's adult dependant is also a member, the family unit has only one benefit each time they are posted.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.1.10.3 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.
Commanding Officer (no rank limitation) – Navy

9.1.11 Extra baggage

  1. Extra baggage may be taken on removal and posting journeys as set out in this Chapter at the following.

    1. Part 2 Division 2, Travel on temporary duty.

    2. Part 2 Division 4, Travel on posting.

  2. The Commonwealth will pay for transport of Service property or documents the member is required to carry during travel.

  3. Baggage does not include a member's or dependant's pets.

    See: Chapter 6 Part 1 Division 3 for details of assistance with costs of pet relocation.

9.1.12 Door-to-door travel

Travel on leave, temporary duty or posting is door-to-door and includes the reasonable cost of transport to and from airports, railway stations and coach terminals.

9.1.13 Travel costs not otherwise payable under this Chapter

  1. The CDF may approve payment of the reasonable costs of travel and related expenses, of the kind provided for in Parts 1 to 4 of this Chapter, for a person in any of these classes who would not otherwise be eligible for those benefits.

    1. A member, including a member of the Reserves and a former member.

    2. Note: In the total workforce model, a member of the Reserves may be described as a member in Service category 2, 3, 4 or 5.

    3. An applicant for appointment or engagement as a member, in respect of attendance at an enlistment centre or attendance for interview or examination.

    4. A family member of a member.

  2. For subsection 1, the CDF must consider these matters.

    1. Any relevant Accountable Authority Instructions made under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

    2. Any other relevant matter.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.1.13.1 on behalf of the CDF:
Director General Navy People
Director Navy Personnel Policy
Director Navy Employment Conditions
Director General Personnel – Army
Director Personnel Policy – Army
Staff Officer Grade 1 – Personnel Policy – Army
Director General Personnel – Air Force
Director Personnel Policy – Air Force
Staff Officer Service Conditions – Air Force
Deputy Director Service Conditions – Air Force

Application to Reservists: Yes.



Forms

Copies of forms are available on the webforms system or through the Defence Service Centre.

  • AE505, Travel Request Form

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