skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Division 2: Travel on Defence business using the travel card

9.5.13 Purpose

This Division sets out basic benefits and limitations on use of the travel card.

9.5.14 Member this Division applies to

  1. This Division applies to a member (including a member on Reserve service) who has a Defence travel card and is required to travel on Defence business.

  2. Note: In the total workforce model, this includes a member in any Service category, except Service category 1.

  3. A member who uses a travel card under this Division has no eligibility under Division 3 for travel on Defence business, except as provided by this Division.

9.5.15 Meaning of normal accommodation stock

  1. Normal accommodation stock is accommodation that meets both the following conditions.

    1. It is listed on the contracted service provider's inventory management system as available to Defence members from time to time.

      Note: Members can find the available inventory accommodation in the following ways.

      1. It is on the Internet site maintained by the contracted service provider (www.aothotels.com.au).

      2. It is on the online booking tool. (This is available on the Internet on https://qbtauonline.qbt.travel/login/defence/.)

      3. By telephoning 13 11 57.

    2. It is still available at the time it is booked for the member.

  2. There are two categories of normal accommodation stock.

    1. Accommodation provided for members ranked Brigadier or higher.

    2. Accommodation provided for members ranked Colonel or below.

  3. A member must use normal accommodation stock listed for their category.

    Example: A Major needs to travel. The member looks at the contracted service provider's Internet site, and finds rooms listed for Colonels or below. Any room in that list can be normal accommodation stock for that member. If the room has been booked by the time they try to book it, the member can choose another room from the list that is still available.

9.5.16 Accommodation while living out on a journey

  1. A member who lives out for up to 21 days during a travel period must use normal accommodation stock.

  2. See: Section 9.5.15, Meaning of normal accommodation stock

    Example: A member is to travel to Townsville. There are several hotels in normal accommodation stock in Townsville. The member makes a choice, and uses that accommodation. The member pays for it with the Defence travel card.

    Non-example: A member is to travel to Townsville. The member looks at the Townsville hotels in normal accommodation stock and prefers another hotel. The member cannot book in the other hotel instead. The member must use a Townsville hotel in normal accommodation stock.

    Exceptions:

    1. A member who is provided with accommodation under section 9.5.18, Limits on payment for accommodation and meals.
    2. A member eligible for payments under Division 3, Travelling allowance.

  3. The CDF may approve use of accommodation provided by the contracted service provider that is not normal accommodation stock. The CDF must consider the following criteria.

    1. Whether normal accommodation stock is available.

    2. Whether normal accommodation stock is suitable.

    Example: A member needs to travel to Townsville at short notice. There are no rooms in normal accommodation stock available as they have all been booked. The member asks the service provider if there is accommodation available in Townsville that is not in normal accommodation stock. The service provider is able to supply a room, at greater cost to Defence. As the member needs to travel, the CDF approves the more expensive accommodation. The member uses the Defence travel card to pay for the room.

  4. The CDF may approve the use of accommodation that is not provided by the contracted service provider. The CDF must consider the following criteria.

    1. Whether the contracted service provider is able to supply accommodation at the location.

    2. The attempts made by the member to source accommodation from the contracted service provider.

    3. Whether it is possible to cancel or defer the travel.

    4. Whether the decision is consistent with the Whole-of-Australian Government (WoAG) travel services arrangements and the Commonwealth procurement rules.

    Example: A member is at a remote airport late at night and the airline advises the plane has been delayed until morning. The member tries to contact the contracted service provider but fails. The member chooses to use a nearby motel which is not supplied by the contracted service provider. The CDF approves the use of the motel.

    Non-example: A member has found accommodation that is slightly cheaper than normal accommodation stock. Not using the contracted service provider undermines the Commonwealth's contractual obligations. The CDF does not approve the use of the accommodation.

    Note: The Commonwealth has a contract with the contracted service provider to provide accommodation services to the whole of Government. Under that contract the contracted service provider is the sole provider of those services. Defence has promised to use accommodation from the contracted service provider.

  5. A member who uses accommodation under this section must use the travel card to pay for it.

Persons who can make the decisions under subsection 9.5.16.2 and subsection 9.5.16.3 on behalf of the CDF:
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

9.5.17 Meals and incidentals while living out on a journey

  1. This section applies to the following members.

    1. A member who lives out for up to 21 days with accommodation supplied under section 9.5.16.

      Related Information: For use of the travel card beyond 21 days, see section 9.5.22.

    2. A member who lives out for up to 21 days in non-commercial accommodation.

      Example: A member who stays with relatives.

  2. The following table sets out the limits on meals and incidentals for the member.

    Limits on meals and incidentals
    Item If the member's rank is... then they are to use the travel card to pay for... up to a daily maximum amount of the...
    1. Brigadier or higher meals for each meal period sum of relevant rates from Annex 9.5.A Part 1, columns 3, 4 and 5 for the location and meals.
    incidentals for each 24 hour period of the journey, and for any part-day at the end rate in Annex 9.5.A Part 1, column 6.
    2. Colonel or lower meals for each meal period sum of relevant rates from Annex 9.5.A Part 2, columns 3, 4 and 5 for the location and meals.
    incidentals for each 24 hour period of the journey, and for any part-day at the end rate in Annex 9.5.A Part 2, column 6.
  3. The following examples show the use of the travel card.

    Example 1 – meals: If the member cannot use the travel card to pay for their meal directly, they are able to use the card to withdraw cash from an automatic teller machine to pay for the meal. The withdrawal amount must not exceed the member's maximum amount.

    Example 2 – meals: The member is eligible to use the travel card to withdraw an amount for more than one meal at once. This means they could withdraw money in the morning and then spend less on lunch than the amount listed as a maximum because they are staying near a cheap cafe. They might spend more on dinner because at that time they are working near a more expensive restaurant.

    Example 3 – incidentals: The member may combine the daily maximum amount for incidentals for a week-long trip to purchase the bulk of their incidental requirements on one shopping trip.

  4. If a member is entitled to receive an amount of field allowance determined by the DFRT in the travel period they are not eligible to be paid incidentals for the period the allowance relates to.

    See: Chapter 4 Part 2 Division B.13, Field allowance

9.5.18 Limits on payment for accommodation and meals

  1. A member is not to use the travel card for a meal or night of accommodation for which any of these conditions are met.

    1. The Commonwealth, a carrier or anyone else has provided them at no cost to the member.

      Exception: Accommodation supplied under section 9.5.16.

      Example: The member is not eligible for breakfast if it was provided as part of an accommodation tariff.

    2. They are included in the fare for travel.

    3. The member's travel continues overnight without a break for accommodation.

    4. The member is ranked Major or lower, and living-in accommodation is available to them.

    Exception: The CDF considers that living in would make the member less efficient in the performance of their duties.

  2. An in-flight meal provided by a commercial carrier is not considered a meal for the purposes of subsection 1.

    Example: A member who travelled by air would not be eligible for an amount for a meal provided during a flight on an aircraft chartered by Defence. However, the member would be eligible for an amount for a meal period during which the member was on an ordinary commercial flight. This is because the meals provided on commercial flights are not of a consistent standard and may not be made available on turbulent flights.

  3. A member may use the travel card for accommodation but pay less than the maximum. In this case, they are not eligible for any of the difference between what they paid and the maximum.

  4. A member may not have spent all of what they were allowed for meals and incidentals at the time they confirm their costs after the journey. In this case, they are not eligible for the unused travel costs.

  5. A member is not eligible for an amount for accommodation provided on a non-commercial basis.

    Example: A member who stayed privately with a friend or relative during a travel period would not be eligible to use cash withdrawn from the travel card to pay their friend or relative for the accommodation.

  6. This table sets out what meal amounts apply if a member visits more than one location in a day.

    See: Section 9.5.17, Meals and incidentals while living out on a journey

    Meals amounts
    Item If the meal is on... then the location for working out the amount for meals is...
    1. the last day of the journey where the member is at the beginning of the day.
    2. any other time where the member is at the end of the day.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.5.18.1, exception, on behalf of the CDF:
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

9.5.19 When there is no eligibility for incidentals

A member is not eligible for incidentals for any part of a travel period when they meet any of these conditions.

  1. They are in hospital in a location that is not the location where they have been performing duty.

  2. They are serving in a seagoing ship on temporary duty and performing duty necessary to the proper working of the ship.

  3. They are serving in the field as a member of a force on exercises.

    Exception: They may be eligible if they are housed at a Service establishment that is not a camp set up for the exercises.

  4. They are serving in the field as a member of a survey party and using camping accommodation, but they are not entitled to field allowance.

    1. They are part of a survey party but are not on exercise.

    2. They are part of a survey party and are not camping out, but are housed at a Service establishment.

    See: Chapter 4 Part 2 Division B.13, Field allowance

    Example: A member who is not entitled to field allowance may be eligible for incidentals if they meet either of these conditions.

  5. They are doing a period of recruit training in the Reserves and are not entitled to field allowance.

  6. They are on a journey related to discharge or dismissal for any of these reasons.

    1. Misconduct.

    2. Disciplinary reasons.

    3. Medical unfitness they caused.

  7. They are attending a live-in training course at the member's posting location.

    Exceptions:

    1. After the first 21 continuous days of attendance at the course.

    2. A member who qualifies under section 9.5.25, Incidentals for a member on a course.

Non-examples: A member would not be eligible for incidentals in any of these situations.

  1. They travel on a journey which has not been approved as being at Commonwealth expense. For example, as a voluntary exchange of postings with another member.

  2. They break the journey for personal reasons.

  3. They are on recreation leave travel under Part 4 Division 1 of this Chapter.

  4. They are posted to the location where they are already serving on temporary duty, from the date the posting takes effect.

9.5.20 Member living in

  1. This section applies to a member who lives in during a travel period at a location that is not their normal place of duty.

  2. This table sets out the amounts that a member may use the travel card to pay for accommodation, meals and incidentals in the travel period.

    Amounts payable on travel card
    Item If the member's rank is... then they are eligible to use the travel card to pay for... up to a maximum amount of...
    1. Brigadier or higher compulsory mess charges the amount of the charges.
    living-in accommodation
    meals provided in the living-in accommodation
    incidentals for each day of the travel period up to the end of 21 days The rate in Annex 9.5.A Part 1 column 6.
    incidentals for each day of the travel period after the first 21 days $66.70 a week
    2. Colonel or lower compulsory mess charges the amount of the charges.
    living-in accommodation
    meals provided in the living-in accommodation
    incidentals for each day of the travel period up to the end of 21 days The rate in Annex 9.5.A Part 2 column 6.
    incidentals for each day of the travel period after the first 21 days $66.70 a week

9.5.21 Keeping accommodation while living in on temporary duty

  1. This section applies to a member without dependants who meets all of these conditions.

    1. They live out at their normal place of duty.

    2. For Service reasons, they must live in during the travel period at a location that is not their normal place of duty.

    3. They live in for a continuous period of more than 21 days.

  2. The member is eligible for the reimbursement of the reasonable cost of keeping their accommodation at their normal place of duty for the period beyond 21 days.

9.5.22 Travel for more than 21 days

  1. This section applies to a member who meets both of these conditions.

    1. They live continuously in a location – whether they live in or out – for 21 days during a travel period.

    2. They continue to live at the location for a further travel period after the 21st day.

  2. In this case, sections 9.5.16 and 9.5.17 do not apply to the member after midnight on the 21st day, regardless of rank. This table sets out how their eligibility is worked out after that time. Parts of a week are worked out on a pro rata basis.

    Eligibility
    Item If the member is eligible to use the travel card to pay for... then they are eligible for a weekly maximum amount of...
    1. accommodation on each night in the travel period the applicable rate in Annex 9.5.B Part 1.
    2. meals for each meal period the applicable rate in Annex 9.5.B Part 2.
    3. incidentals for the travel period $66.70 a week.
    This item also applies to a member who lives out, if they are required to live in beyond 21 days during a course of training at their posting location.
  3. For subsection 1, a day when the member is eligible for field allowance does not count towards the period of 21 days.

    Example: A member has served for five days under field conditions. They continue to be eligible for travelling allowance at the daily rate until the 26th day.

    See: Chapter 4 Part 2 Division B.13, Field allowance

  4. This table sets out when the member's eligibility under this section ends.

    Eligibility ends
    Item If the member leaves the location to return to their normal place of duty on... then their eligibility ends at...
    1. the 22nd day midnight on that day.
    2. any later day midday on the day they leave the location.

9.5.23 Limits on travel costs for journey longer than 21 days

  1. A member's eligibility under section 9.5.22 ends if they do any of the following.

    1. Leave the location to perform duty somewhere else.

    2. Take recreation leave.

    3. Undertake reunion travel.

  2. This table sets out the eligibility of the member when they return to the location after losing their benefit under subsection 1.

    Return to location after benefit ceases
    Item If the member... then they are eligible for the amount that applies to them under...
    1.
    1. leaves the location to perform duty somewhere else, and
    2. returns to the location after more than 7 days
    either of the following.
    1. For a member living out – sections 9.5.16 and 9.5.17.
    2. For a member living in – section 9.5.20.
    2. returns to the location under any other circumstance section 9.5.22 starting at midnight on the day they restart duty at the location.
  3. A member to whom subsection 1 applies is eligible to use the travel card to pay to keep accommodation at the location for up to one week while they are absent from it.

  4. The CDF may approve the member's use of the travel card to keep the accommodation for longer than one week, after considering all of these factors.

    1. The reason for and the length of the absence.

    2. The expected period the member will stay at the location after their return.

    3. The cost of keeping the accommodation during the absence.

    4. If there is alternative accommodation at the location.

    5. Any other factor relevant to the absence.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.5.23.4 on behalf of the CDF:
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision who holds a Financial Delegations Manual (FINMAN 2) F2-2 (Proposal Approval) delegation.

9.5.24 Accommodation and meals for dependants

A member may be directed to take a dependant with them on a journey for representational purposes. In this case, they may be eligible to use the travel card to pay for the dependant's accommodation and meals.

Accommodation and meals for dependants
Item If the member's dependant... then the member...
1. occupies a room as the sole or first occupant is eligible to use the Defence travel card to pay for a room from normal accommodation stock.
2. occupies a room on a shared basis is not eligible for an additional payment for the dependant's accommodation.
3. eats meals in the travel period is eligible to use the Defence travel card to pay for up to the maximum of their meal benefit under section 9.5.17.

9.5.25 Incidentals for a member on a course

A member who is living in at any of these institutions where they are doing a course is eligible for incidentals. No matter what their rank, they are eligible to use the travel card up to the maximum amount set out in Annex 9.5.A Part 1 column 6.

  1. The Monash Mount Eliza Business School in Victoria.

  2. The Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales.

  3. The Melbourne Graduate School of Management at the University of Melbourne.

  4. Macquarie University.

Related Information: Paragraph 9.5.19.g, When there is no eligibility for incidentals

9.5.26 Overnight stay following a period of Reserve service

  1. A member on Reserve service may use the travel card under sections 9.5.16 and 9.5.17 or section 9.5.20 for an overnight stay after a period of service if both of these conditions are met.

    1. The member lives more than 30 km from their place of duty.

    2. The CDF considers that occupational health and safety reasons to do with the travel make it necessary for them to stay overnight at their place of duty rather than go home immediately after the period of Reserve service.

    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.

  2. For subsection 1, the CDF must be satisfied that either of these criteria is met.

    1. The member has a qualification or skill that the unit cannot get from a member who lives closer to the place of duty.

    2. The member needs training they cannot get at a place of duty closer to home.

Persons who can make the decision under paragraph 9.5.26.1.b on behalf of the CDF:
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

9.5.27 Eligibility for incidentals at annual Reserve camp

A member is eligible for incidentals under the table in section 9.5.17 if they are on Reserve service in either of these circumstances.

  1. During the period of a bivouac or camp of continuous training with their unit or sub-unit.

  2. During a Reserves activity comparable to those described in subsection a.

9.5.28 Recall from recreation leave or long service leave

  1. If a member on recreation or long service leave is recalled to duty, they are taken to be on duty from the time they start travel to return to duty.

  2. If the member travels by private vehicle or private aircraft, their eligibility under sections 9.5.16 and 9.5.17 will be limited to the amount of allowance that would be payable if they returned to duty by the most efficient and economical means of travel.

    See: Part 6 Division 2 section 9.6.12, Recall from leave

9.5.29 Additional payment toward travelling costs

  1. A member's maximum benefit may be less than they actually spend on meals or incidentals during the travel period.

  2. The CDF may approve the member's use of an additional amount on the travel card, towards the following costs.

    1. Meals.

    2. Incidental costs.

  3. In making the decision in subsection 2, the CDF must consider all the following criteria.

    1. The places the journey is made through or to.

    2. The availability of suitable meals at those places.

    3. Whether the extra cost is reasonable.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.5.29.2 on behalf of the CDF:
Director/Commanding Officer not below MAJ(E)/APS 6 in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

9.5.30 Confirming actual travel costs

  1. A member must confirm their costs on the travel card using the Defence travel card management system. They must do this within 28 days after they end their travel.

    Example: The member might present receipts for the payments.

  2. If the member has spent more on the travel card than they were eligible for (including any extra amount approved by CDF), they must repay the difference to the Commonwealth.

  3. If the member has not used their maximum benefit for meals and incidentals when they confirm their costs, they are not eligible for the unused costs.

9.5.31 Member eligible for allowance instead of using travel card

  1. A member may be eligible for an allowance to pay their travel costs if they have not been given a travel card. The amount of the allowance is calculated as if the member was eligible for travelling allowance under Division 3.

    See: Division 3, Travelling allowance

    Example: A member may not yet have been issued with a card, or their card may have been lost or stolen.

  2. The member must keep receipts to show their travel costs.

    See: Section 9.5.30, Confirming actual travel costs

Application to Reservists: Yes.



Forms

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

  • AE505, Travel Request Form

I want to know more...

Further info

Contact

Intergrated Travel Solutions

1800 333 362

Travel.ITS@defence.gov.au

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

YourCustomer.Service@defence.gov.au