skip to navigation skip to content skip to footer

Division 2: Excess commuting costs

15.3.6 Purpose

The purpose of this Division is to help with extra commuting costs. This is when the member is travelling to and from their home at the overseas posting location, to their place of duty.

Note: The member's home should be located within a reasonable distance of the work location. The member is eligible for payment only for travel by the most direct practical route.

15.3.7 Public transport

  1. A member who uses public transport between their home and their normal place of duty is eligible for a payment.

    Note: The payment is to reimburse for the excess costs of public transport at the overseas location. It is based on the cost of an annual adult bus fare in Canberra.

  2. ...

  3. The member is required to make a contribution towards their public transport costs if they claim under this Part. The maximum amount claimable in one year is AUD 1,297.40.

  4. The following table provides a method to calculate the amount a member may be reimbursed.

  5. Reimbursement
    Step Action
    1. Count the number of days the member worked in the overseas location during the year. The year starts on March 1 and ends on the following 28 February, or 29 February in a leap year. Do not count more than 215.
    2. Divide the outcome of Step 1 by 215.
    3. Multiply the outcome of Step 2 by the maximum amount claimable in subsection 3 to calculate the member contribution amount.
    4. Calculate the member's public transport costs at the location. Multiply by the exchange rate to convert it into AUD.
    5. Subtract the member contribution (the outcome from step 3) from the member's public transport costs in AUD from this amount (the outcome of Step 4).
    6. The member may be paid the outcome of Step 5 if it is more than zero.

    Note: The exchange rate is the rate provided to Defence by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the payday prior to 1 March of the relevant year for the currency in which the member incurred the public transport cost.

    Example: The member used public transport to travel to and from work on 220 days.
    The member counts 215 days and divides it by 215 as described in Step 2, giving a result of 1.
    As 215 days is the maximum number of days, anything over that is not counted.
    The outcome of Step 3 is AUD 1,297.40 multiplied by 1.
    The member paid AUD 1,500.00 for the yearly public transport cost in the overseas location. The member's payment is calculated as AUD 1,500.00 minus the AUD 1,297.40 member contribution amount. The member may be reimbursed AUD 202.60.

15.3.8 Private vehicle

  1. The member may use a private vehicle to drive between their home and their place of duty.

  2. The member may be reimbursed for any extra commuting costs. The amount is worked out on a daily basis. It is based on every kilometre travelled over 30 km. The daily amount for excess commuting costs is worked out in local currency using this formula.

    A x B x (C - 30)


    A is the applicable rate of vehicle allowance on 1 March in that year.

    See: Division 4, Vehicle allowances

    B is the exchange rate used to pay salary to members at the posting location on the payday immediately before 1 March in that year.

    Note: Information on item B is available from the Overseas Administration Team.

    C is the daily return distance the member travels by private vehicle, in kilometres.

    Example: A member is on posting in Shrivenham, UK. In a 2.0 litre engine vehicle, they make a 70 km daily return trip. Vehicle allowance within Australia is AUD 0.71 a km for that vehicle. The exchange rate used is 0.40. This table shows how to work out the excess commuting costs.

    Excess commuting costs
    Step Action
    1. Convert the within-Australia rate of vehicle allowance to local currency. AUD 0.71 x 0.40 = GBP 0.28 per km.
    2. Subtract 30 km from the daily return distance the member travels. 70 - 30 = 40 km.
    3. Multiply the result of step 1 by the result of step 2. 40 km x GBP 0.28 per km = GBP 11.20 a day.

15.3.9 Public transport and private vehicle combined

The member may travel to their normal place of duty using both public transport and private vehicle. When this happens, the amount is worked out as if the whole journey were by public transport under section 15.3.7. The whole distance of the private vehicle component is treated as if it were a fare. This is worked out under section 15.3.8, but without deducting the 30 km from the return distance.

Example: A member is on posting in London. Each day, they drive a 30 km return journey to the Underground station, then travel by tube to work using a five-zone monthly season ticket. Vehicle and other details are as set out in the table in section 15.3.8. This table shows how to work out the excess commuting costs.

(The figures in the example just show the calculations. They are not current amounts.)

Excess commuting costs



1. Work out the amount for the vehicle portion of the journey using the table in section 15.3.8. Do not subtract the 30 km in step 3 of the table in section 15.3.8.

30 km x GBP 0.38 a km = GBP 11.40 a day.
2. Convert the daily amount in step 1 to a monthly amount, based on 20 working days a month.

GBP 11.40 a day x 20 = GBP 228.00 a month for the vehicle portion of the journey.
3. Find out the Underground fare.

A five-zone monthly season ticket costs GBP 134.80 a month.
4. Add the amount in step 2 to the amount in step 3.

GBP 228.00 a month + GBP 134.80 a month = GBP 362.80 a month
5. Work out the amount for fares under the formula in subsection

Convert that to a monthly rate by dividing by the number of months in the period. The monthly amount for fares = GBP 48.24
6. Subtract the amount in step 5 from the amount in step 4.

GBP 362.80 a month – GBP 48.24 a month = GBP 314.56 a month.

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service.

I want to know more...

Further info


Overseas Administration and Civilian Relocations


Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)