Official Establishments – Guidelines for use

GovernmentOfficial EstablishmentsPolicies and Guidelines
Wednesday, 05 July 2017
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

It has been a long standing practice for the Prime Minister and his or her spouse to host or agree to the use of the Official Establishments for events and functions.

The Official Establishments are The Lodge in Canberra, Kirribilli House in Sydney and, for the purpose of functions hosted by the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s Suite in Parliament House, Canberra. 

Introduction

The Remuneration Tribunal has determined that Prime Ministers are entitled to receive, at government expense, accommodation and sustenance at the Prime Minister’s Official Establishments (the Official Establishments).  By convention, the entitlement is extended to the Prime Minister’s spouse and dependent children and includes small private functions.

In addition to accommodation and sustenance, it has been a long standing practice for the Prime Minister and his or her spouse to host or agree to the use of the Official Establishments for events and functions.

The Official Establishments are The Lodge in Canberra, Kirribilli House in Sydney, the Prime Minister's Suite in Parliament House, Canberra and the Prime Minister's Suite in the Commonwealth Parliament Offices, Sydney.

The Canberra Suite's use as an Offical Establishment is primarily for the hosting of functions by the Prime Minister.

The level of support at the Sydney Suite is limited to light meals and refreshments for the Prime Minister, consistent with the Prime Minister's accommodation and sustenance entitlements.

Accommodation/sustenance

The Lodge and Kirribilli House are nationally significant heritage properties owned by the Commonwealth of Australia.  They are furnished, maintained and renovated to safeguard their national heritage and provide safe and appropriate accommodation for the Prime Minister, including for the purposes of hosting events.

Contributions are not sought for infrequent, short-stay visits by the Prime Minister’s family or invited guests.  However, when non-dependent family/guests stay for long periods contributions are sought from the Prime Minister towards accommodation/sustenance. The contribution amount is adjusted annually to take account of any changes in inflation over the preceding financial year.

Events

Events and functions held at the Official Establishments are divided into a number of categories:

  • Official Government functions - events organised by the Ceremonial and Hospitality Branch in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet – including but not limited to events for Guest of Government Visits, VIP international and domestic guests, Council of Australian Governments events, and associated with other significant government business. 
  • Prime Minister’s functions - events related to the official duties of the office of the Prime Minister which may include events for ministers, parliamentarians, representatives from business, industry, the community or the media and events hosted by the Prime Minister and/or his or her spouse for awareness raising for charitable and other beneficial activities (not fundraising).
  • Cabinet Minister events (Kirribilli House only) - events hosted by a Cabinet Minister for their official portfolio-related business such as meeting their foreign counterpart.  
  • Charity events - events where the primary purpose is for fundraising where all profits from the event go towards a registered Australian charity or charitable project.  
  • Party-political events - may be held at the Official Establishments but are at the Party’s expense.
    • Party political fundraising events cannot be held at the Official Establishments.
  • Miscellaneous events - the Prime Minister or his or her spouse may agree to an event appropriate to the Official Residences that does not fall under any of the above categories.  These events may include historical or heritage house and garden tours or significant community celebrations. 
  • Private functions - medium/large private events hosted by the Prime Minister and/or his or her spouse such as weddings, birthdays, large dinner parties or business functions related to the Prime Minister’s spouse (if relevant).

The Official Establishments are not available for private events organised by members of the general public or commercial entities. 

Costs

The type of event will dictate who covers the cost of events and functions. Annexure A provides an outline of the type of event, who is generally involved and who is responsible for the cost.

Annexure A

Activity/Event

Who is involved?

Cost born by

Official Government Functions

Official Government functions hosted by the Prime Minister (including heads of government and VIP guests).

Major events (for example, Australia Day events, diplomatic corps function).

COAG dinners.

Secretaries/PM&C SES officials.

 

PM

PM’s spouse (as required)

Guests by written invitation

PM&C 

Prime Minister’s functions

Functions hosted by the Prime Minister related to the official duties of the office of the Prime Minister.  These include:

  • receptions/dinners related to the PM’s official duties – guests including ministers, business, industry, community or media representatives; and
  • functions for parliamentarians.

Events hosted by the Prime Minister and/or his or her spouse in support of awareness raising for a charity or community organisation (not fundraising).

 

PM

PM’s spouse (as required)

Guests by invitation

PM&C 

Cabinet Minister events (Kirribilli House only)

Events hosted by Cabinet Ministers related to their portfolios, which do not involve the Prime Minister and his or her spouse.

 

Cabinet Ministers/Official Participants

Relevant portfolio

Charity events

Charity events for primary purpose of fundraising.

PM

PM’s spouse (as required)

Guests

Relevant charity

Party-political events

Party-political events may be held at the Official Establishments but must not include any fundraising activities.

 

PM

PM’s spouse (as required)

Guests

PM/Party

Miscellaneous events

Event appropriate to the residences such as historical or heritage house and garden tours or significant community celebrations.

 

 

 

Relevant organisation

Private functions

Private functions hosted by the PM or spouse which are medium to large events (such as weddings, birthdays, large dinner parties or business functions related to PM’s spouse (if relevant)).

Note: small private functions of the Prime Minister and family are covered under the Prime Minister’s accommodation and sustenance entitlements.

 

PM

PM’s spouse

Guests

PM

PM’s spouse

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