The Remuneration Tribunal ruling enabling federal parliamentarians to
use their privately plated car allowance for public transport has lifted the lid on a whole range of lurks‘n’perks.

Yesterday we talked about the “quaint
hangovers from the days of state railways and municipal tramways that give
federal parliamentarians the right to travel free on public transport”.

But there are also privileges like reciprocal
rights that let federal parliamentarians enjoy the (largely subsidized) nosh in
the Members Dining Rooms of the various state parliaments – equally quaint
hangovers from the days when the members of gentlemen’s clubs enjoyed
reciprocal rights with brother clubs in other cities.

These lurks‘n’perks do not necessarily fall under the remit of the Remuneration Tribunal.
Some are extended by the various state and territory governments. Which makes
them hard to map – but also would make it a good yarn if we tried to catalogue
just what little extras state and federal pols enjoy over and above their
salaries, electoral allowances, travel allowances, transport entitlements,
spouse transport entitlements…

When I first arrived in Canberra I
discovered an old manual that said parliamentarians could request fresh flowers
for their offices from the Parliament House gardens. What else is left?
Examples of egregious entitlements, please, to [email protected].

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW