Vehicle-kilometre and travel-time allowances apply to eligible travel as defined in the Local Government Members Determination.
Under the determination, an elected member who lives permanently or temporarily resides outside the local authority area can only claim these two allowances after they cross into the local authority area.
The determination allows, at the discretion of the local authority, an elected member who resides outside the local authority to seek an exemption from the restriction placed on their ability to be reimbursed for costs (vehicle-kilometre allowance and travel-time allowance) associated with eligible travel between their primary place of residence and the boundary of the local authority area.
Because the payment of these allowances within the limits of the determination are at the local authority’s discretion, any decision to enable a member to apply for an exemption of those allowances is also discretionary.
Accordingly, a local authority that enables their elected members to claim these allowances may choose not to include in its expenses and reimbursement policy provision for a member to apply for an exemption.
If the local authority chooses to include in their elected members’ expenses and reimbursement policy the ability for a member to apply for an exemption, the member can do so if:
An exemption for an exceptional circumstance will be granted based on the Remuneration Authority’s judgement. An example of an exceptional circumstance is when an elected member is required to move out of the local authority area due to a natural disaster. It does not include instances where a member may move out of the local authority to change school zones or employment.
To be granted an exemption, the member must email their application along with a recommendation supporting or opposing the application from their mayor or regional council chair to the Remuneration Authority.
The application must contain proof that the member declared their primary place of residence at the time of the local election or provide evidence of an exceptional circumstance.