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Ruling 1/2020 - Claims for Media Travel under the General Travel Allocation (GTA)

Section 36 of the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal Act 2013 provides that the Clerk of the Parliament (the Clerk) may, by written notice, ask the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal to give a ruling on the interpretation or application of a determination as soon as practicable after the request is made.

On 15 September 2020, the Clerk sought a ruling in relation to Members of the Legislative Assembly (members) using GTA for media travel where no additional costs are incurred.

Ruling: Members cannot cover travel expenses of the media from their GTA under any circumstances.

Explanation: Enabling members to cover travel expenses of the media through their GTA could provide perverse incentives for the media to apply pressure on members and create a pseudo-market for media attendees.

Any decision to enable media to travel with a member using ‘spare seats’ or ‘essential travel’ as a justification could potentially result in ‘Quid‑Pro-Quo’ arrangements with members providing travel for certain media representatives in return for beneficial and favourable reports. This could set a precedent of indebtedness or undue influence between members and the media and would be inconsistent with maintaining public confidence in the integrity of the allowances system.

Date of ruling: 16 October 2020

Last updated:
22 October, 2020
Last reviewed:
23 October, 2020