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Travel Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope


(1) This Policy:

  1. establishes the University's requirements for travel on University business;
  2. supports the safety and well-being of Travellers while maintaining the financial integrity, compliance and sustainability of all travel activities.


(2) This Policy applies to all University Business travel regardless of duration or funding source, including student travel connected with University programs and activities.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) For the purposes of this Policy and associated Procedures, the following definitions apply:

  1. Executive Member: refer to Schedule B, Delegations Rule.
  2. Traveller: a person travelling on University Business.
  3. Travel Management Company: the University's preferred supplier of travel management services.
  4. Travel Services: the University's work unit that functions as a centralised travel fulfilment office.
  5. University Business: activity of a business, educational or professional nature sanctioned by the University.
  6. University Funds: all funds controlled by the University, including grant money, consultancy earnings, academic pursuit funds, research grant monies, earnings from entrepreneurial ventures and New Colombo Plan program funding.
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Section 3 - Travel Bookings and Approvals

(4) All travel, regardless of the funding source, must be approved in accordance with the Travel Procedures and Schedule A - Travel Approval Authorities.

(5) Any travel funded, in whole or in part, by the University, must be for University Business. The University will not fund or book personal travel.

(6) University travel is booked by Travel Services using the Travel Management Company with the exception of:

  1. Staff travelling as part of their special studies program which is managed in accordance with the Special Studies Program Procedures;
  2. University travel that is booked and paid for by an external organisation or self-funded by the Traveller where no reimbursement is requested from University funds;
  3. Accommodation when offered as part of a conference package and booked directly via a conference organiser;
  4. Travel arrangements required for consultants and independent contractors;
  5. Pool cars which are booked using the Pool Vehicle Request Form.

(7) Travellers must complete a Risk Assessment Form for destinations categorised by the Department of Foreign and Trade (DFAT)(Smart Traveller) as:

  1. 'Reconsider your need to travel'; and
  2. 'Do not travel'.

(8) Group Travel Risk Assessment Form must be completed for any student group travel regardless of funding source.

(9) Risk Assessments are reviewed and, where appropriate, approved by the Travel Approvers.  

(10) If a Traveller wishes to change the trip purpose, dates of approved travel or the travel funding source, re-approval from the delegated authority will be required.

(11) Any trip greater than 180 days may require additional workplace health and safety, insurance, tax and other considerations. The Traveller should seek advice from HR Services, Corporate Finance and Insurance.

(12) The University provides travel insurance for those travelling on University Business subject to the limitations of the corporate insurance policy. Travellers are responsible for confirming their travel is covered by referring to the Corporate Travel Insurance Website and associated documents.

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Section 4 - Private Travel

(13) Subject to approval, Travellers may undertake private travel in conjunction with travel on University Business provided:

  1. The private travel is not the primary purpose of the trip and would not have occurred if not for the University travel; and
  2. The private travel does not equal or exceed the University Business portion; and
  3. The Traveller personally arranges and funds any direct or incremental costs incurred on a trip due to private travel plans, ie accommodation, meals, vehicle hire, transport including airfares for travel legs that are 100 per cent private or for family members.
  4. In the event of any fringe benefit tax liability arising due to the travel, the Traveller agrees to reimburse the University the fringe benefit tax or other costs.

(14) Where private travel is taken in conjunction with business travel, the following applies:

Private Travel less than 35% = 'Incidental'
No personal contribution towards airfare to business location is required
Private Travel equal to or greater than 35% of the duration of the trip 
Traveller to personally fund the entire trip airfares (including flights to business locations). Subject to approval, upon return from the trip, the Traveller may seek reimbursement via an expense claim for the business-related component (%).
Corporate credit cards should not be used to fund the flights.

(15) If the Traveller's itinerary changes subsequent to booking the flights, resulting in the private days becoming equal to or greater than 35 per cent, the Traveller will be required to repay that portion of the flight costs to the University.

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Section 5 - Air Travel

(16) The following restrictions apply to air travel:

  1. All travel must take the most direct and economical route from the University to the location of the University Business and return via the same most direct and economical route.
  2. Travellers must choose the lowest non-stop fare of the day that is fit for purpose.
  3. Travellers must not use frequent flyers rewards, personal preferences or personal needs as a justification for choosing a higher cost flight.
  4. First class travel is prohibited unless authorised by the employee's contract of employment.
  5. Business class travel is permitted for University Council members and Executive members for international travel (except to and from New Zealand) and for domestic flights exceeding four hours. 
  6. The Vice-Chancellor may approve business class travel on a case-by-case basis.

Non-scheduled air travel (charter flights)

(17) To ensure that appropriate insurance coverage is in place, the Insurance Office requires three weeks' notice of any non-scheduled air travel bookings.

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Section 6 - Vehicle Transport

(18) Travellers should use University pool vehicles ahead of hire cars and private vehicles, where available.

(19) Travellers must refer to and comply with the Motor Vehicle Policy and Driving Safety Policy if they plan to self-drive.

(20) Travellers must use the most cost-effective mode of ground transport that is sufficiently safe. Consideration should be given to public transport and shuttles.

Hire Cars

(21) Travellers must accept all comprehensive motor vehicle insurance options, including excess or deductible coverage offered by the rental organisation, whether discretionary or mandatory, against loss or damage to the rental vehicle during the rental period. Travellers must comply with the requirements of the rental company under the hiring agreement and of the insurer under the insurance policy.

(22) Incidental personal use of a hire car during a business trip is permitted. However, Travellers who choose to extend a business trip for personal reasons, either before or after business is conducted, must pay for additional days, fuel, and other usage charges.


(23) If a hire car accident occurs, Travellers must submit a written accident report as soon as possible to the rental company. All accidents, regardless of whether an injury by the driver or any passenger has been sustained, must be reported to Work Health Safety within 48 hours via Riskware.

Use of Private Vehicles

(24) Travellers are permitted to use a private vehicle for business purposes, where it is roadworthy and has valid compulsory third party insurances, in the following circumstances:

  1. No University pool vehicle or hire car is available; or
  2. The Traveller resides more than 20 kilometres from either a University campus or hire car collection point and the intended travel is in the opposite direction.

(25) Travellers will be reimbursed for approved travel using the kilometre rates set by the University in accordance with the Australian Taxation Office

(26) If an accident occurs while a Traveller is using a private vehicle on University business, any insurance claim must be made under the Traveller's personal insurance policy.

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Section 7 - Accommodation

(27) Hotels should be booked close to the business location keeping the reasonable rate Guides (see clause 31) in mind. A room upgrade at the University's expense is not permitted.

(28) Airbnb is permitted in the following circumstances only:

  1. in countries categorised by DFAT (Smart traveller) as requiring 'normal safety precautions'; and
  2. in countries categorised by DFAT (Smart traveller) as requiring a 'high degree of caution' where the Traveller is fluent in the local language.

(29) Where a Traveller elects to stay with family or friends when travelling on University business, accommodation allowances are not paid. The University will not reimburse Travellers for contributions or gifts for their host.

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Section 8 - Reimbursable Travel Costs

(30) The University does not pay per diems. Meals, incidental and other travel related costs are reimbursed on the basis of actual costs which must be reasonable.

(31) Travellers should refer to the Travel Services website when determining reasonable costs. The following Guides should also be used:

  1. Council Members and Executive: Executive Domestic Travel Rates 
  2. Council Members and Executive: Executive Overseas Travel Rates
  3. Other Travellers: Non-executive Domestic Travel Rates 
  4. Other Travellers: Non-executive Overseas Travel Rates.
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Section 9 - Rest Breaks

(32) Where a period of business is five consecutive days or more in duration, Travellers are entitled to a rest break of 24 hours which may include an overnight stay in the destination.

(33) Travellers are entitled to a rest break following a period of travel to an international location (other than New Zealand) prior to commencing work as follows:

  1. The minimum rest break is ten hours and the maximum is 24 hours which includes an overnight stay;
  2. Where the flight time is greater than 12 hours (including transit stops), a variation to a maximum of a two-night rest break may be authorised by the Travel Approver, after considering flight arrival times and distance travelled;

(34) Rest breaks while overseas must be taken at the time of travel.

(35) Return travel should begin no later than the day immediately following completion of business, subject to suitable travel being available.

(36) On return to their place of residence, Travellers will be entitled to a rest break which includes one night. A variation to two nights may be authorised by the Travel Approver, after considering flight arrival times and distance travelled.

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Section 10 - Frequent Flyer and other Membership Programs

(37) The University makes no claims of ownership of frequent flyer points.

(38) An airline lounge membership may be reimbursed with the approval of both Head of Work Unit and relevant Executive Member.

(39) Fees associated with joining accommodation loyalty programs will not be reimbursed.

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Section 11 - Breach of Policy

(40) Breaches of this Policy will be reported to the relevant Executive member.

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Section 12 - Associated Documents

(41) This Policy is supported by:  

  1. Travel Procedures
  2. Schedule A – Travel Approval Authorities
  3. Executive domestic travel rates
  4. Non-executive domestic travel rates
  5. Executive overseas travel rates
  6. Non-executive overseas travel rates

(42) This Policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. Work Health Safety Policy
  2. Driving Safety Policy
  3. Code of Conduct
  4. Motor Vehicle Policy
  5. Special Studies Program Policy
  6. Outdoor Fieldwork Safety Policy
  7. Corporate Credit Card Policy