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Division 4: Reunion travel for members

9.3.28 Purpose

This Division relates to members separated from their dependants for Service reasons. It allows them to make or receive reunion visits.

9.3.29 Members eligible for reunion travel

  1. The CDF may approve a written application for reunion travel at Commonwealth expense from a member who meets all these conditions.

    1. They are a member with dependants (unaccompanied) or they are a member with dependants posted to a seagoing ship.

    2. They are living away from home for more than two months for Service reasons. This must be a continuous period.

    3. Their absence on reunion will not significantly reduce the operational effectiveness of their unit.

    4. They have enough leave credit or approved short absence for the reunion.

  2. The CDF must consider both these criteria in deciding whether to grant an application.

    1. The purpose of the reunion travel.

    2. The operational requirements of the member's unit.

  3. To avoid doubt, a member with dependants (unaccompanied) categorised under subsection 8.3.6.7 is eligible for reunion travel to visit dependants living in a personal location provided they meet any conditions required under this Division.

    Exception: Subsection 3 applies in a modified way to a member whose dependants live in a personal location outside Australia. The member's reunion benefits are subject to the following limits.

    1. In this Division, reunion travel to a personal location is taken to be travel to the nearest Australian international airport with flights to the country of the personal location.

    2. In this Division, reunion travel from a personal location is taken to be the following travel.

      1. The travel is from the nearest appropriate international terminal in Australia with flights from the country of the personal location.

      2. The travel is to the member's location.

    See: Chapter 8 Part 3
    Division 1 section 8.3.6, Member who may be classified as a member with dependants (unaccompanied)
    Division 2, Member with dependants (unaccompanied) summary, for a summary of conditions of service that apply to a member with dependants (unaccompanied)

  4. A member with dependants (unaccompanied) may also have a eligibility for remote location leave travel.

    See: Part 4 Division 4, Remote location leave travel

    General examples of reunion travel

    Example 1: A member is posted to a three-month course. They know they will be away from home for three months. They ask the course coordinator to approve a reunion trip in the course break that takes place six weeks into the course. Although the two months have not yet passed when the travel occurs, the member can show that they will be living away from home for the whole three months of the course and they are not required for duty during the course break.

    Example 2: A member is posted to a seagoing ship for 12 months. The member knows that after three months of the posting, the ship will deploy for six months. The member takes three reunion visits in the first three months of the posting. They take the remainder after the deployment.

    Non-example: A member is posted away from their family home for 12 months. The member seeks to take all their reunion benefits as soon as they qualify. The member's Commanding Officer refuses to grant the request. The Commanding Officer talks to the member about the need to meet the demands on the work unit. They also talk about the policy behind reunion visits and whether it would be better to space the trips out to get the most from each trip.

  5. A member posted to a ship is eligible for reunion travel from any port in Australia.

    Exception: This does not apply if the port the member would be travelling from is in the location where the member's dependants live.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 9.3.29.1 on behalf of the CDF:
Supervisor not below WO2(E)/APS 4, in the member's direct chain of command or supervision.

9.3.30 Frequency and cost of reunion travel

  1. An eligible member may apply for a maximum of six reunion visits a year, or pro rata for a part of a year.

  2. For each reunion visit, the Commonwealth will pay no more than the cost of a return economy class air fare from the member's place of duty to their dependants' home location in Australia.

    Exception: This exception applies a limit to the benefit for a member whose dependants are living in a personal location that is outside Australia. For each reunion visit, the Commonwealth will pay no more than the cost of travel to and from the nearest appropriate international terminal in Australia that has flights to the country of the personal location.

  3. For reunion purposes, the travel assistance is to be provided on a 'door-to-door' basis.

  4. If a member travels (or has their dependants travel) by a means of transport other than air, the normal departmental liability is used to work out the cost that the Commonwealth would otherwise have paid for the airfare.

    See: Part 1 section 9.1.7, Normal departmental liability

  5. Despite subsection 1, the member's eligibility for recreation leave travel, remote location leave travel and reunion travel is limited to a combined total of seven trips a year. The member is taken to have used their annual benefit to reunion travel once this total is reached.

    See: Part 4
    Division 1, Recreation leave travel
    Division 4, Remote location leave travel

9.3.31 Transfer of reunion travel ('reverse reunion travel')

  1. An eligible member may transfer their benefit. That is, they may use it to offset the cost for one or more dependants to travel from the dependants' home location to where the member is serving, and back again.

  2. The Commonwealth will pay for transferred reunion travel only up to the member's benefit under subsection 9.3.30.2.

  3. Example: A member would like to fly their spouse and child to the member's posting location using one reunion travel benefit ('reverse reunion travel'). The cost of the return air fair for the member's reunion travel is $400. The dependants' travel to the member's posting location cost $650. The Commonwealth will pay $400 towards the total cost of the member's dependants' travel.

  4. A member who transfers reunion travel is judged to have used a reunion visit.

  5. If a member might be visited by a dependant who is a member eligible for reunion travel for the visit. In this case, both members are judged to have used a reunion visit.

9.3.32 Certain travel judged to be reunion travel

A member is judged to have used a reunion visit if they meet both these conditions.

  1. They serve on temporary duty in the dependants' location.

  2. They are not needed for duty for two or more days in a row.

Note: This is because they could use the free time for a reunion visit.

9.3.33 Eligibility continues for six months

  1. A member's eligibility for a reunion visit continues for six months from the date they became eligible for the visit.

    Example: A member separated from their family on a posting became eligible for a reunion visit after two months at the posting. (The same would be true if they went on a course or temporary relocation.) They did not take up their benefit in the following six months. They lose their eligibility for that reunion visit.

  2. Eligibility ends when they again live with their dependants.

    Example: A member is posted away for 12 months and eligible for reunion travel to visit their dependants. The eligibility would end when the member moved to a home with the dependants at the end of the 12 months, even if the member had not used all six trips.

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



Forms

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

  • AE505, Travel Request Form

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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