State loses bid to axe MP allowance
QUEENSLAND's independent remuneration tribunal has rejected the Palaszczuk Government's request to scrap the overnight allowance for MPs.
The tribunal tabled its latest report today, revealing it believed it would be unfair to do so.
Instead it has renamed the allowance and changed who can receive it to exclude city MPs with electorates close to Parliament House.
It follows outcry from regional MPs over the move.
Treasurer Jackie Trad had wanted to scrap the $105 a night allowance - $315 for those not staying at the annexe - to use the cash to instead fund substitute electorate officers.
"The Tribunal maintains its position that abolishing the Brisbane DTA would unfairly disadvantage regional and outer metropolitan members who are required to attend Brisbane for parliamentary sittings and other parliamentary business," its report states.
"However, the Tribunal does not consider it appropriate for Brisbane-based members to access the full Brisbane DTA ($315), including an accommodation component given the close proximity of their electorates (and homes) with the Queensland Parliament.
"The Tribunal acknowledges its responsibility to ensure the occupational health and safety and wellbeing of members.
"To ensure these members are not put at risk as a result of attending late night events or Parliamentary sittings in Brisbane, the Tribunal notes that taxi fares, or other transport arrangements may be used by members and claimed against the GTA to ensure safe travel home.
"The Tribunal has therefore decided to limit use of the full Brisbane DTA to members whose electorates are outside of Brisbane. Members in these electorates are still entitled to claim the one-third DTA ($105) which is provided for meals and incidental expenses.
"Any allocation of a room in the Parliamentary Annexe is not affected by this decision.
"The Tribunal has considered the Electoral Commission of Queensland electoral boundaries and maps and decided to exclude the following electorates from claiming the full Brisbane DTA ($315): Algester, Aspley, Bulimba, Chatsworth, Clayfield, Cooper, Everton, Ferny Grove, Greenslopes, Inala, Lytton, Maiwar, Mansfield, McConnell, Miller, Moggill, Mount Ommaney, Nudgee, Sandgate, South Brisbane, Stafford, Stretton and Toohey."
It has renamed the allowance the Parliamentary Business Overnight Rate (Brisbane).