31 May 2010

Defence Force remote locality leave travel entitlement review clarified

During this mornings Australian Senate Budget Estimates, Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner (ALP - NSW) discussed the scope of the review of the Remote Locality Leave Entitlement. This review will not be examining or proposing any changes to the District Allowance, nor any changes to the entitlement to additional annual leave days.

"The Government recognises the sacrifices made by ADF members when they are posted away from family and friends to distant locations across Australian like Darwin and Townsville without the facilities of a city like Sydney or Melbourne," said Faulkner in a press release this afternoon.

There are three components of the package of benefits provided to members posted to a remote location:
  1. the ADF District Allowance, which is an annual allowance paid to compensate members for living in a remote area;
  2. additional annual leave days; and
  3. a Remote Locality Leave Travel entitlement, which provides economy class travel to the nearest state capital that ADF members can use to visit family and friends or to access services unavailable in their remote location
Defence is only looking at the third component – remote locality leave benefit – and the objective will be to ensure that it meets the needs of our servicemen and women.

“The review will examine options to increase the flexibility of the current scheme. There will be no changes to the scheme that will adversely impact servicemen and women in remote locations,” said Faulkner.

A transcript of today's hearing can be viewed here.

Earlier this month The Daily Telegraph's Ian McPhedran wrote this article concerning the review.

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