The Travel Policy establishes the University’s requirements for travel on official University business. The Procedure provides further information on required steps and responsibilities associated with the purchase of travel services. Supporting policy documents include:

  • Travel Guideline
  • Travel (Per Diem) Schedule
  • Travel Expenses Schedule



To outline the University’s requirements for travel on official University business.



Advance: (see Travel Advance).

“Best Fare of the Day”: the lowest available (cheapest) fare for the journey that enables the business purpose to be completed effectively.

Contracted supplier: selected supplier or travel service provider that offers special commercial benefits to Macquarie University.

Domestic Travel: travel to any destination within Australia.

E3 Booking Tool: Campus Travel online booking tool for Domestic Travel.

Emergency Assistance Card: a card to assist with medical and other emergencies while travelling overseas.

Employee: staff of the University, staff of the University’s controlled entities and students.

Frequent Traveller: an employee who travels domestically more than twelve times per year or, alternatively, combined internationally and domestically more than eight times per year.

Fully-Funded Travel:  where the University pays all costs associated with business-related travel, regardless of whether the University is reimbursed.

International Travel: official travel to any destination outside Australia.

Partially-Funded Travel: where the University does not fully meet the travel expenses. Examples of when this might occur are:

  • attendance at conferences
  • absence on research field work
  • absence on special training courses/live-in courses.

In these cases the total amount of University funds approved for travel expenses should be stipulated as part of the travel approval.

Per Diem: a daily allowance paid, at the discretion of the University, to cover all meals and minor incidentals.

Reasonable Accommodation: a single room with a private shower/bath in a moderately priced Business Class hotel/motel (usually classified as 3 to 4 star).

Reasonable costs: all legitimate work-related expenses which are incurred.

Reimbursement: a payment to compensate a business-related expense already incurred. Reimbursements are subject to Fringe Benefits Tax unless the amount is substantiated and meets the reasonableness test of the Australian Taxation Office and the University.

Restricted Area: any country or region where the threat to the health and safety of the traveller is considered high. In general, the University will be guided by the advice/recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and/or information provided by a travel risk management provider engaged by the University.

Travel Advance:  a payment of up to 85% of travel costs provided to a traveller to cover predicted expenditure where the University Credit Card cannot be used.

Travel Diary:  record of travel events to meet the requirements of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), including any audit of the University’s Fringe Benefits Tax obligations or an employee’s tax deductions. Under the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act, 1986, a Travel Diary must provide the following details for each business activity:

  • the date the entry was made
  • the place where the activity was undertaken
  • date and approximate time when the activity commenced
  • duration of the activity
  • the nature of the activity.

Traveller: a person using University funds to pay for travel expenses.

University Business: activity of a business, educational or professional nature sanctioned by the University.

University Credit Card: University-issued credit card used to procure goods/services for University use.

University Funds: all funds controlled by the University, including grant money, consultancy earnings, research grant monies and earnings from entrepreneurial ventures.

3     SCOPE

This policy applies to:

  • all Council members, staff, students, visitors and job applicants of the University and its controlled entities
  • purchase or reimbursement of all travel products from University Funds. This includes income from research grants, consultancies and income earned by controlled entities.

4     POLICY

Exceptions to this Policy require approval by the Vice-Chancellor or Chief Operating Officer.

The University will fund domestic and international travel expenses for travellers on approved official University business. That is, funds will only be spent on travel for business directly associated with the functions of the University.

The Executive Dean / Dean / Head of Office (or delegate) is responsible for determining if travel is for official University business.

Travellers are not to receive an additional benefit from travelling on University business. Travellers will not be expected to subsidise the cost of officially representing the University.

Restricted Areas
Travellers are required to comply with the University’s directions in regard to travel to Restricted Areas. Travel in areas listed on the DFAT website as “exercise a high degree of caution” requires the review of the Health and Safety Unit prior to travel.  All travel listed as “reconsider your need to travel” requires the prior approval of the Vice-Chancellor (or delegate).

Personal/Private Travel
Travellers may undertake up to seven days personal or private travel in conjunction with travel on official University business, provided:

  • the private travel does not exceed the business portion of travel
  • prior approval is obtained for the period of leave
  • all costs associated with this travel are paid for separately and from non-University funds.

Travellers are required to use appropriate leave (annual, long service leave or leave without pay) to cover periods of absence that are not specifically required to conduct University business. The exception is between periods of authorised travel, where it is impractical to return to normal duties.

University business must not be compromised if a traveller is accompanied by a spouse, partner or dependant.

Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to:

  • notify the Manager, Health and Safety, of any pre-existing medical condition that may require special attention during travel
  • provide a current medical certificate from a doctor which:
    • confirms fitness to travel
    • has been approved by the Chief Operating Officer.

The University’s Travel Insurance will not pay expenses incurred by a traveller who has travelled against the advice of a doctor or who is unfit to travel.

The University will fund a reasonable standard of travel, accommodation and subsistence consistent with the public nature of the University.  This will include appropriate levels of safety, convenience and comfort at appropriate cost to the University and according to its duty of care.

The University will pay approved travel expenses when travellers are on official University business in accordance with the Travel Expenses Schedule (see tab above).

The University will not fund airline life membership programs.

The University will not accept any claim for reimbursement if frequent flyer points are used to purchase travel services nor will the University reimburse the cost of airline lounge memberships (eg Qantas Club) not arranged through the Office of Financial Services.

The University will only fund any cost incurred for an accompanying spouse, partner or dependant where this supports the mission of the University and prior approval has been obtained from the Approval Authority.

The class of travel will depend on the substantive position of the person travelling, as follows:

International Travel

Business Class

Business Class

  • Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor, University Council members.
  • permanent members of the University Executive (this includes the permanent occupant of the positions of Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Director Human Resources), permanent occupants of the positions of Executive Dean of Faculty
  • the Dean of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine and the Dean of the Macquarie Graduate School of Management
  • Vice-President, Health and Medical Development
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning, Teaching and Diversity
  • Director, Macquarie International

Economy Class*

All other staff, visitors and job applicants.

Domestic Travel

Business Class

Chancellor, Deputy Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.

Economy Class*

All other Council members, staff, students, visitors and job applicants

*Includes First-Class rail travel including sleeping berth, but excludes Premium Economy Class.

Spousal and dependant travel will be at the same travel class as the traveller.

Approval authorities are:



Academic and Professional staff

Executive Dean/Head of Office or travel delegate

Executive Deans, Deans, Heads of Office (reporting to Deputy Vice-Chancellor), Vice-President, Health and Medical Development

Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer

Vice-Chancellor or Acting Vice-Chancellor. If not available then a Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Heads of Office (reporting to Chief Operating Officer)

Chief Operating Officer or Acting Chief Operating Officer. If not available then a Deputy Vice-Chancellor


Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor

Staff of a Controlled Entity

Managing Director of Controlled Entity or travel delegate


Executive Dean, Dean, Head of Office or travel delegate

Note that financial delegation is not a delegation to approve travel.

The Faculty or Office is required to ensure the necessary approvals are in place before booking travel.

Delegated officers cannot approve their own travel expenses. An officer on the next highest level of delegation in a direct reporting line is required to approve the travel expenses.

Subordinates may not approve the travel expenses of a supervisor regardless of whether they have an appropriate delegation.

It is the responsibility of the travel approver to ensure that a traveller is not visiting areas where DFAT advises against travel unless approval has been obtained from the appropriate officer.

A University Credit Card is to be used as a first preference for purchasing travel-related expenditure.

Travellers who have a University Credit Card:

  • may only apply for a Travel Advance where the card cannot be used for some travel expenses
  • may not apply for a Per Diem.

Travellers who do not have a University Credit Card may:

  • apply for a Card
  • apply in advance for a Per Diem or Travel Advance.

A Travel Advance and a Per Diem cannot be claimed for the same period of travel.

Reimbursement may only be claimed when a University Credit Card is not available and a Per Diem allowance or Travel Advance has not been claimed.  Where a traveller has maintained receipts in excess of a per diem or advance additional reimbursement will be made.

Travellers are not permitted to use personal credit cards to purchase airline tickets.

When purchasing travel services, travellers are required to:

  • use the University’s contracted travel agent Campus Travel and the E3 online booking tool to book all domestic travel
  • use the University’s contracted travel agents STA Travel (Macquarie Campus Branch only) or Campus Travel for all international travel
  • use the University’s preferred airline carrier, Qantas, unless this carrier does not meet the criteria of “best fare of the day”
  • choose the “best fare of the day” and cheapest car hire rate available at the time of booking, regardless of reward program membership
  • consider traveller convenience in relation to flight times, stopovers and length of flight
  • contain costs and obtain value for money wherever practical.

If travellers purchase air travel from any other travel agent, their University Credit Card will be subject to immediate cancellation.

The Cabcharge facility is available for taxi travel on official University business where:

  • the use of a pool vehicle, or convenient public transport is not appropriate, or
  • where substantial University goods or equipment is being carried.

The use of Cabcharge for personal purposes is not permitted, except in exceptional circumstances.
Travellers are not permitted to add tips to Cabcharge transactions.

Travellers must keep a Travel Diary when travelling on University business, whether fully- or partially-funded, for:

  • all international travel
  • domestic travel of more than five consecutive nights
  • reimbursement of expenses.

The University will comply with all taxation obligations, such as Fringe Benefits Tax.

Except in exceptional circumstances, no more than two members of the University Executive are to travel together.

The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).


Contact Officer Deputy Chief Financial Officer - Operations
Date Approved 5 May 2014
Approval Authority Chief Operating Officer
Date of Commencement 5 May 2014
Amendment History November 2014 – added FBT Guideline
Date for Next Review June 2017
Related Documents

Supporting Travel Policy documents on this page (see Tabs above):

Travel Procedure / Guideline / Travel (Per Diem) Schedule / Travel Expenses Schedule

Other related documents:

Campus Travel
Credit Card Policy / Procedure / Guideline
Fringe Benefit Tax Guideline

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement
STA Travel

Forms Travel Diary
Policies / Rules Superseded by this Policy Travel Policy approved 12 June 2012
Keywords Travel, Agent, Private Travel, Restricted, Emergency Assistance, Diary



To describe the steps and responsibilities associated with purchase of travel services when travelling on official University business.


This procedure requires actions by the following:

The steps in this procedure are:

  • Seek leave approval
  • Apply for a University Credit Card
  • Book travel
  • Receive Itinerary and Statement of Costs
  • Seek travel approval
  • Apply for a Per Diem or Travel Advance
  • Obtain passport, visas and inoculations
  • Apply for additional travel services
  • Keep a Travel Diary and receipts
  • Seek reimbursement
  • Manage and authorise Cabcharges

Executive Dean / Dean / Head of Office / Budget Unit Head

Approve, as required, business-related travel in advance of the commencement of travel.

Ensure that any expenses paid or reimbursed comply with the Travel Policy.

Ensure staff and students are not travelling to areas where the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises against travel.

Ensure that Travel Diaries are retained within the Budget Unit for five years and be made available to the Australian Tax Office upon request.

Ensure any necessary leave approvals are in place.


Discuss with your Executive Dean/ Dean / Head of Office or travel delegate to determine whether the travel is for official University business.

If your travel is to a restricted area, obtain the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

Obtain approval from your supervisor and Head of Department/Head of Office for the absence from your workplace, including any personal leave to be taken for private travel.

Apply for a University Credit Card if you are a staff member who travels frequently.

Domestic travel
Book your airfares, car rental and (optionally) accommodation through Campus Travel using the E3 online booking tool. Note the travel class and carrier conditions.

Pay for your domestic airfare and travel-related expenditure with a University Credit Card.

International Travel
Book your airfares, car rental and (optionally) accommodation either through Campus Travel or STA Travel (Macquarie University branch only). Note the travel class and carrier conditions.

Pay for your travel-related expenditure with a University Credit Card.

All travel
Wherever possible, select the “best fare of the day” and cheapest car hire rate (if applicable).

Book your accommodation through STA Travel or Campus Travel, or make your own arrangements. Accommodation must meet the criteria of “reasonable accommodation” (see Travel Policy).

Use frequent flyer and other reward points earned as a result of travel funded by the University when arranging your trip, for the benefit of the University. For example, use these reward points to upgrade to business class or for future University business travel.

Receive an Itinerary and Statement of Costs from the travel agent.

Obtain approval for any travel that involves your absence from the University. The Financial Delegations of Authority Policy specifies who has financial authority to approve the travel expenditure, while the Travel Policy specifies who has authority to approve staff travel.

Note thata Travel Advance and a Per Diem cannot be claimed for the same period of travel.

Apply for a Per Diem
Where a University Credit Card cannot be used, apply for a Per Diem payment before undertaking travel, in accordance with the Travel (Per Diem) Schedule (see tab above). 

Lodge an application for a Per Diem with Accounts Payable by completing a Non-Order Payment Request form, attaching the approved Airline Booking Approval Form to the application. A traveller who holds a University Credit Card cannot claim a Per Diem but may claim a Travel Advance.

Payments will be made by Electronic Funds Transfer on the Thursday night prior to travel.  Seven days are required for processing. 

Apply for a Travel Advance
Where a University Credit Card cannot be used, apply for a Travel Advance using the Non-Order Payment Request form.

A travel advance will be up to 85% of estimated travel costs. No further advance will be provided until this acquittance is substantiated.

Acquit a Travel Advance
Acquit a Travel Advance with original tax invoices/receipts (an EFTPOS docket or credit card authorisation slip does not satisfy this requirement) within one month of return from a trip. Complete a Travel Acquittance and Expense Claim Form, obtain approval from a delegated staff member for the claimed expenditure, and forward the claim to Business Services Office, OFS.

In acquitting the Travel Advance, you must clearly identify and certify that any costs claimed have been paid from the Travel Advance and not charged to the University Credit Card. 

At the end of each financial year (30 June) any travel advance requiring substantiation, that has been outstanding for more than four months from the date of return from official business travel, will be included in the traveller’s Payment Summary as a Reportable Fringe Benefit unless the Manager, Accounts Payable, is provided with a sufficient explanation as to why the advance remains unsubstantiated. Once recorded on the Payment Summary, this amount is taxable in the hands of the employee and is irrevocable.

Ensure that your passport is valid beyond the length of the trip and that you have obtained any inoculations, visas and are in compliance with any other relevant immigration requirements. The University will meet the cost for inoculations for destinations required for business related travel.

Request a Cabcharge ticket, if appropriate, from the Budget Unit Officer.

If leaving employment, return unused Cabcharge tickets to Business Services, Office of Financial Services (OFS). Do not transfer tickets to another staff member,  as the tickets (and any misuse) remains the responsibility of the person to whom they were issued.

Car Allowance
Seek a car allowance for use of a private motor vehicle by obtaining prior approval from the Head of the Budget Unit. On your return, claim the allowance by completing a Motor Vehicle Allowance Claim Form and submitting it to Human Resources.A car allowance is only payable if all the following conditions are met:

  • a traveller is a full-time staff member (not a student)
  • no University vehicle is available
  • no public transport is available or appropriate
  • it is not reasonable or economical to use rental vehicles or taxis
  • the vehicle is currently registered
  • the driver has a current licence
  • the vehicle is covered by a fully comprehensive motor vehicle insurance policy
  • all conditions of the Motor Vehicle Policy are met.

Note: the University will not be liable to meet the cost of any uninsured excess in the event of an accident.

Emergency Assistance Card
Obtain an Emergency Assistance Card from the Chief Financial Officer, Faculty General Manager or Business Services, to assist with medical and other emergencies while travelling overseas. On return to the University, contact the Insurance Manager within two weeks to advise of any claims or follow up on any outstanding claims.

Corporate Lounge Membership
If you qualify as a Frequent Traveller, you are eligible to apply for corporate lounge membership Seek approval of this expenditure from the Executive Dean/ Dean/ Head of Office who co-ordinates with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Travel Insurance
See the Travel Guideline to determine whether you are covered for travel insurance.

Camping Allowance
A camping allowance may be paid on University-conducted field excursions to cover wear and tear and general disability. The rates are shown in Attachment 1 of the relevant Macquarie University Enterprise Agreement.

Apply for a camping allowance using the Non-Order Payment Request form, and include the reason for the trip as well as dates and times.

Maintain a Travel Diary for any international travel or domestic travel of more than five nights’ duration.

A Travel Diary may be prepared in advance. A detailed travel itinerary that includes details normally included in a Travel Diary (except the costs) prepared before the trip is an acceptable Travel Diary provided that it is endorsed to the effect that it was followed, or any deviations noted.

During travel, retain the necessary invoices or other documentation to support use of the University Credit Card or a claim for reimbursement. This does not apply if you have been provided a Per Diem.

See the Travel Expenses Schedule (see tab above) for information on approved and unacceptable travel expenses.

If you do not fully complete a Travel Diary, you cannot claim reimbursement of expenses.

If a University Credit Card is not available and a Per Diem allowance or Travel Advance has not been claimed, seek reimbursement for business travel-related expenses incurred by you personally using the Travel Acquittance and Expense Claim form. Original receipts/tax invoices will be required. EFTPOS dockets or credit card authorisation slips do not satisfy the requirement for original receipts.

Where tax invoices/receipts cannot be obtained for items such as tolls and incidentals, or in remote areas where a credit card is not accepted, these should specifically be noted as "no receipt possible" on the form. It is expected these would total a minor amount.If claiming reimbursement for foreign currency payments, use the exchange rate from the Oanda website unless you have a bank statement showing a different rate. When travelling for more than one day, use an average rate. Attach an Oanda printout to your reimbursement claim.

Business Services Officer

Manage the Cabcharge facility, including obtaining tickets, distributing tickets to Budget Units, liaising with Cabcharge Australia and ensuring correct payment to Cabcharge Australia.

Do not issue more than twenty five Cabcharge tickets at any one time.

Budget Unit Officer

Obtain Cabcharge tickets from Business Services, secure, distribute, monitor their proper use and confirm all costs incurred by the business unit.

Authorise, as appropriate, any request for use of a Cabcharge ticket for personal use where there are exceptional circumstances, such as when illness occurs, or where staff work irregular hours and no reasonable travel alternative is available.

Nominate an account code (Cost Centre) to cover the cost of issued Cabcharges tickets.

Note that, once issued, Cabcharge eTickets are not transferable and any subsequent reallocation of charges will be the responsibility of the Budget Unit.

Cabcharge tickets are to be regarded as the equivalent of cash and should be kept under appropriate security. In the event that a Cabcharge card is lost or stolen, notify Business Services in writing of the Cabcharge number. The Faculty/Office remains liable for any electronic transaction on or prior to the date of notification.Return of Cabcharge Tickets
Ensure that staff must return all unused Cabcharge tickets to Business Services if they resign or transfer to another area of the University.

Procedure Information
Contact Officer Deputy Chief Financial Officer - Operations
Date Approved 1 November 2012
Approval Authority Chief Operating Officer
Date of Commencement 1 November 2012
Amendment History January 2014 – updated links to Finance Forms website
September 2013 – Removal of Application for Approval of Absence on Duty Form
November 2012  - Change to Professional staff requirements and update on travel to restricted areas
February 2012 – updated with procedures from the Travel Guideline, the Cabcharge Policy and with information on Professional Staff travel to conferences
Date for Next Review June 2015
Related Documents

Supporting Travel Policy documents on this page (see Tabs above):

Travel Procedure / Guideline / Travel (Per Diem) Schedule / Travel Expenses Schedule

Other related documents:

Campus Travel
Credit Card Policy / Procedure / Guideline
Fringe Benefit Tax Guideline

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
STA Travel 
Financial Delegations of Authority

Airline  Booking Approval Form
Motor Vehicle Allowance Claim Form
Non-order Payment Request Form
Travel Diary Form
Travel Acquittance and Expense Claim Form
Keywords Travel, Agent, Private Travel, Insurance, Emergency Assistance, Advance, Diary, Camping, Car, Per Diem


Travel Guideline


The purpose of the Guideline is to provide additional information for travellers on official University business.

Guidance is provided on the following topics:

  • Best fare of the day
  • Car rental
  • Carrier
  • Duty of care
  • Emergency Assistance Card
  • Pre-existing medical condition
  • Severe medical cases
  • Spouse, partner and dependant travel
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to restricted areas


The endorsed travel agents STA Travel and Campus Travel are contracted to assist the University in obtaining the “best fare” or “cheapest fare of the day” available at the time of booking.

The University (together with most other Australian universities) has entered into an agreement with QANTAS whereby QANTAS provides the University with discounts on its published fares. This agreement requires the University to nominate two travel agents and book exclusively through those agents in order to obtain these discounted fares.

The travel agents are required to quote the QANTAS discounted fares as well as other cheaper fares, if available, including internet fares and fares from other carriers.

Note when booking domestic travel through the Campus Travel E3 Booking tool, these fares will be highlighted for your reference.

Rental cars may be used if they are cost effective. The following companies provide discounted government rates:

  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Thrifty

Rates for the above three providers are available within the Campus Travel E3 online booking tool. Notwithstanding the fact that these companies provide government rates, the best fare of the day still applies.

Qantas is the University’s preferred airline carrier. As a member of the National University Travel Consortium the University has access to substantial fare discounts from Qantas on its Domestic and International routes. The discounts are provided to the University at point of sale via agreements between the University, its appointed travel agents and Qantas. Qantas makes it a condition of this agreement that these discounts can only be accessed through the Universities approved travel agents Campus Travel and STA (Macquarie University branch only) and are only available for travel on approved University business.

Notwithstanding this agreement, the University’s policy of “best fare of the day” is the overriding criteria. The Campus Travel E3 online booking tool for domestic travel will assist in identifying the best fare of the day.

Macquarie University’s primary responsibility is to protect the safety and well-being of all employees travelling on University business. While it is unlikely that personal attack, kidnap or danger is an issue for employees, procedures and resources have been established to ensure that every precaution is taken to protect travellers from such incidents prior to departure.

If you wish to travel to any destination nominated as a Level 3 or 4 risk (reconsider your need to travel and do not travel) or above (as defined by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)), you are only permitted to do so after having obtained the Vice-Chancellor’s permission.  See SmartTraveller link below.
The use of only two nominated travel agents allows the University to know at all times where staff are located. In the event of major crisis, the University is advised of the staff presence in that area and action is taken to evacuate staff from locations where personal safety is a concern.

As part of its duty of care the University advises travellers not to drive a motor vehicle within twenty-four hours of completing an international flight of more than 5 hours duration.

An emergency assistance card is available to assist with medical and other emergencies while travelling overseas. This card lists a contact number which can be accessed if assistance is required. It is not intended for minor medical or other non-urgent situations.

However, if you have concerns of any description about your situation, you are able to ring a reverse charge call to the number on the card to discuss your problem. The card can be collected a day or two prior to departure from the Chief Financial Officer’s staff in room E11A 115, Faculty General Managers or from Business Services.

Insurers usually consider an existing medical condition to mean:

  • a medical or dental condition that is currently being, or has been investigated, or treated by a health professional
  • any condition for which a person takes prescribed medicine
  • any condition for which a person has had surgery
  • pregnancy

If you experience a severe medical problem requiring hospitalisation, contact (or have it done on your behalf) the number on the Emergency Assistance Card to report the situation. The insurer will then liaise on your behalf with the hospital on costs, payment of account and eventual discharge.

Approval of costs incurred for an accompanying spouse, partner or dependant will normally happen in the following circumstances:

  • as part of the recruitment process
  • as part of the process of relocating staff from their current city to Sydney
  • in accordance with the Outside Study Policy (OSP) travel provisions
  • where the spouse is travelling in a representative, ceremonial, ambassadorial or fundraising role.  Approval for spousal travel under these circumstances will be by the Vice-Chancellor for members of the Executive, Chief Operating Officer for other staff, and by the Chancellor or Deputy Chancellor for the Vice-Chancellor.

When on official University business the following categories are automatically covered for trips up to 180 days in length, whether for international or domestic travel:

  • employees, officers, guest speakers and delegates including accompanying spouses/partners and dependent children
  • Council members while on University business including accompanying spouses/partners and dependent children
  • honorary employees, and visiting lecturers
  • voluntary workers including accompanying spouses/partners and dependent children
  • students undertaking journeys associated with post-graduate studies
  • students participating in Outreach programs and/or work experience or practicals.

For the purposes of travel insurance, a journey is defined as any trip involving travel exceeding 50km from the insured person’s normal place of residence or business premises.

Insurance coverage extends for a maximum period of 180 days but can be extended to a maximum of 364 days upon request. For any journey which exceeds 180 consecutive days, staff are required to provide written notification to the Insurance Manager prior to the trip, otherwise the insurance will be invalid.

Travellers who are going to be away for longer than nine months may require Expatriate Medical Insurance, which provides medical expenses cover for employees/students who are residing outside of Australia for long periods. Expatriate Medical Insurance must be arranged before the traveller leaves Australia.

The University’s insurers cover leisure travel associated with a business trip to a maximum of 7 days. This is only applicable to staff business travel. As a general rule, the private travel portion should always be less than the business portion. If the private travel portion is over 7 days, or greater than the business portion, travellers should arrange their own insurance to cover the whole private travel portion.
Travel insurance cover for student’s leisure travel is no longer available from 1 January, 2014.

Details of the extent of coverage are available from the University’s Insurance Manager.

Macquarie University has a duty of care for the health, safety and well-being of all staff travelling on University business and students undertaking projects as part of their studies, and as such the University has an obligation to:

  • identify potential dangers or risks present in particular geographical areas where University staff may travel
  • advise such travellers on the potential risks they may face
  • take reasonable measures to control risks, where possible.

Consular Travel Advisories by DFAT are designed to ensure that you are well-informed and well-prepared for travel overseas by helping you avoid danger and difficulties. They provide up-to-date information about the security environment in a particular country, including in relation to possible terrorist threats or problems with law and order. The Commonwealth Government’s Smart Traveller website provides information on destinations to which travel should be restricted or avoided.


Supporting Travel Policy documents on this page (see Tabs above):

Travel Policy / Procedure / Travel (Per Diem) Schedule / Travel Expenses Schedule

Other related documents:

Campus Travel
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
STA Travel

4     NOTES

4.1 Contact Officer Director - Operations, Office of Financial Services
4.2 Implementation Officer  
4.3 Approval Authority / Authorities Chief Operating Officer
4.4 Date Approved 16 January 2014
4.5 Date of Commencement 1 January 2014
4.6 Date for Review December 2016
4.7 Documents Superseded by this Schedule nil
4.8 Amendment History July 2015 – amendment to clarify that the insurance policy covers limited private travel taken during an authorised business trip for staff; alignment with new policy framework template.
January 2014 – alignment with changes to University’s Travel Insurance arrangements - remove travel insurance related to private travel for students
September 2013 – Minor amendments made to ‘Travel to Restricted Areas’ section
November 2012- Change to Professional staff requirements and update on travel to restricted areas
4.9 Policy Authorisation Travel Policy


Travel (Per Diem) Schedule


To inform staff about the conditions associated with the payment of per diems for University business-related travel.



Staff will not be expected to subsidise the cost of officially representing the University. Staff are not to receive an additional benefit from travelling on University business. The University requires all travellers to contain costs at all times.

There are a number of conditions that must be met before the payment of a per diem can be considered. The Office of Financial Services (OFS) reserves the right to withdraw the option of a per diem if, in its opinion, a staff member or budget unit is not acting within the spirit of this Schedule.

All amounts listed in this Schedule are in Australian Dollars (AUD$).


Per Diem: a daily allowance paid to staff to cover all meals and minor incidentals while travelling on approved University business.

The payment of a per diem is intended to ensure that an employee neither loses nor gains financially by receiving a per diem payment.


A per diem can be claimed for approved University business-related domestic and international travel:

  • only if requested prior to undertaking the travel
  • where the duration of the travel is no more than 30 days. For longer travel periods a University credit card will need to be used or a Travel Advance obtained. Note that the Australian Taxation Office treat per diem allowances greater than 30 days as a Living Away From Home allowance which is taxable at the highest marginal rate and must be shown on an individual’s Payment Summary.
  • incurred outside the Sydney Metropolitan Area (outside a 50km radius of Macquarie University)
  • only when there is a possibility that a travel-related cost will occur.

The per diem is to cover the cost of:

  • meals
  • minor incidental expenses, such as:
    • low cost incidental transport eg taxi fares up to $20 (note that individual taxi fares in excess of $20 may be claimed at the end of the travel on production of receipts. The amount reimbursed will be the difference between the actual fare and $20.)
    • laundry
    • telephone/internet
    • sustenance other than meals (eg snacks).

A per diem can be used for conference travel but it must be reduced for all meals that are included at the conference and/or in the accommodation (eg breakfast). Where meals are not included in the conference, a copy of the conference program will need to be supplied. Where this is not provided it will be assumed the conference includes all meals. If all meals are included only an incidental conference rate will be available.

Multiple Purpose Trips
A per diem is only payable if no part of the trip is excluded under the exclusions listed below eg if a person is travelling to a conference and Outside Studies Program (OSP) the whole trip is excluded and other forms of funding must be used (eg Travel Advance or reimbursement).

Additional Expenses
Reimbursement may be requested for additional expenditure (where meal and incidental costs are greater than the value of the per diem payment) but will require original receipts to be produced for all expenses claimed for the full trip, not merely the difference between the per diem allowance and the total cost of the trip. Reimbursement claims over and above the per diem payment not supported by receipts will not be accepted. 


A per diem cannot be claimed for any of the following:

  • the cost of accommodation and conference registrations (these are to be paid on a University credit card before travelling or by reimbursement upon return)
  • OSP expenses
  • personal or private travel
  • a cost which is not likely to occur
  • travel when the traveller has a University credit card, except if it can be substantiated that credit cards are not readily accepted in an area, in which cases a Travel Advance is to be obtained 
  • the same period of travel for which a Travel Advance has been claimed
  • same-day domestic travel which is more than 50km from Macquarie University.  If meals are included on the flight , a per diem for the meals may not be claimed and the per diem rate will need to be reduced.  If meals are provided at a meeting, the per diem rate will need to be reduced.

Per diems will be suspended where a staff member is found not to be acting in the spirit of the use of a per diem. OFS will suspend the use of per diems for that staff member and advise the head of the budget unit that continued breaches of Per Diem Schedule may result in the suspension of per diems for all staff in that unit.


Destination Standard Rate (AUD) Incidental Conference Rate (AUD)
Domestic $55 $20

The University’s per diem rates are differentiated by location. The University uses the six groups of locations identified as having different cost structures by the Australian Taxation Office in Taxation Determination TD 2012/17 entitled Income tax: what are the reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts for the 2012-3 income year?

These destinations are grouped as follows

Country Cost Group Country Cost Group
Albania 1 Libya 3
Algeria 4 Lithuania 3
Angola 6 Luxembourg 5
Antigua and Barbuda 4 Macedonia 1
Argentina 1 Malawi 2
Austria 5 Malaysia 3
Azerbaijan 4 Mali 4
Bahamas 5 Malta 4
Bahrain 3 Mauritius 3
Bangladesh 2 Mexico 1
Barbados 5 Monaco 6
Belgium 5 Morocco 3
Bermuda 5 Mozambique 1
Bolivia 1 Myanmar 3
Bosnia 2 Namibia 3
Brazil 5 Nepal 2
Brunei 2 Netherlands 5
Bulgaria 3 New Caledonia 5
Burkina Faso 3 New Zealand 4
Cambodia 1 Nicaragua 1
Cameroon 4 Nigeria 4
Canada 4 Norway 6
Chile 2 Orman 5
China (includes Macau & Hong Kong) 4 Pakistan 1
Colombia 4 Panama 2
Congo Democratic Republic 3 Papua New Guinea 4
Cook Islands 4 Paraguay 1
Costa Rica 1 Peru 3
Cote D’Ivoire 5 Philippines 3
Croatia 4 Poland 4
Cuba 2 Portugal 4
Cyprus 4 Puerto Rico 3
Czech Republic 4 Qatar 4
Denmark 6 Romania 3
Dominican Republic 3 Russia 5
East Timor 2 Rwanda 2
Ecuador 2 Saint Lucia 3
Egypt 2 Saint Vincent 2
El Savador 1 Samoa 4
Eritrea 1 Saudi Arabia 2
Estonia 4 Senegal 3
Ethiopa 1 Serbia 2
Fiji 2 Sierra Leone 2
Finland 5 Singapore 5
France 5 Slovakia 4
Gabon 5 Slovenia 3
Gambia 2 Solomon Islands 2
Georgia 2 South Africa 2
Germany 5 Spain 4
Ghana 3 Sri Lanka 1
Gibraltar 4 Sudan 2
Greece 4 Surinam 2
Guatemala 2 Sweden 5
Guyana 2 Switzerland 6
Hungary 3 Syria 3
Iceland 5 Taiwan 3
India 3 Tanzania 2
Indonesia 3 Thailand 3
Iran 2 Tonga 3
Irish Republic 5 Trinidad and Tobago 4
Israel 5 Tunisia 2
Italy 5 Turkey 4
Jamaica 3 Uganda 1
Japan 5 Ukraine 3
Jordan 4 United Arab Emirates 4
Kazakhstan 3 United Kingdom 5
Kenya 3 United States of America 4
Korea Republic 5 Uruguay 2
Kuwait 4 Vanuatu 4
Laos 4 Venezuela 5
Latvia 4 Vietnam 1
Lebanon 4 Zambia 3

The per diem rates for each of the above counties are listed below by cost group:

Destination Standard Rate (AUD) Incidental Conference Rate (AUD)
Cost Group 1 $25 $10
Cost Group 2 $36 $10
Cost Group 3 $43 $15
Cost Group 4 $51 $15
Cost Group 5 $69 $20
Cost Group 6 $78 $20

Note: The Incidental Conference rate is not additional to the Standard Rate. It is only available where all meals are to be included in accommodation and no Standard Rate per diem is payable

Partial Per Diems
Per diems are calculated from the time of arrival at the final destination to the time of departure from the destination. All times are local times.


Day of Arrival at Destination
Arrival before 10am Full Per Diem
Arrival between 10am and 3pm 75%
Arrival between 3pm and 8pm 50%
Arrival after 8pm No Per Diem


Day of Arrival at Destination
Arrival before 10am Full Per Diem
Arrival between 10am and 3pm 75%
Arrival between 3pm and 8pm 50%
Arrival after 8pm No Per Diem
Day of Departure from  Destination
Departure before 8am No Per Diem
Departure between 8am and 3pm 50%
Departure after 3 pm Full Per Diem

Per Diem Deductions
The per diem amount will be reduced when meals are included in:

  • the accommodation charge eg breakfast
  • a flight
  • hospitality provided by external parties eg vendors.

The applicable per diem deductions are:

  • breakfast – 25%
  • lunch – 25%
  • dinner – 50%.
Contact Officer Deputy Chief Financial Officer-Operations
Date Approved 14 October 2013
Approval Authority Chief Financial Officer
Date of Commencement 14 October 2013
Amendment History n/a
Date for Next Review October 2016
Keywords Per diem, Travel
Policy Authorisation Travel Policy


Travel Expenses Schedule


To inform staff about which travel expenses are acceptable and which are unacceptable.


Acceptable Expenses 
Expenses, which can be paid for using a University Credit Card or reimbursed as actual expenses, include the cost of:

  • travel to and from airports for flights
  • approved business-related travel (e.g. car hire or taxi fares for travel from one location to another)
  • business-related telephone calls
  • necessary inoculations, vaccinations and medical requirements (eg Malaria tablets)
  • necessary visas
  • business-related excess baggage and customs
  • compulsory entry/exit fees
  • business documents preparation (photocopying, communication etc)
  • business hospitality and business-related functions
  • hotel accommodation, including any hotel service fee
  • meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In the case of the evening meal, the University will allow reasonable beverage costs as part of the meal (as a guideline, these should be no greater than A$20)
  • laundry, where the trip is of four days duration or longer
  • additional meals not greater than the ATO allowance.

Credit card substantiations must be supported with original tax invoices/receipts.

Unacceptable Travel Expenses
The University will not reimburse the following ‘private nature’ expenses and the University Credit Card must not be used to purchase:

  • snack and morning/afternoon teas
  • bar and alcoholic beverage costs (other than as part of evening meal or where specifically approved as official entertainment expenditure)
  • health spas, saunas, massages, haircuts and similar expenditures
  • costs of in-room/external movies
  • costs of laundry where the trip is four days or less
  • passports
  • luggage
  • sunglasses
  • mini-bar
  • non-emergency medication (including bandaids and non-prescription medication)
  • cosmetics
  • tips – unless it is dictated by national custom. 10% should be used as a guide. Tipping is not permitted in Australia
  • other expenditure of a private nature.
Contact Officer Deputy Chief Financial Officer-Operations
Date Approved 12 June 2012
Approval Authority Chief Operating Officer
Date of Commencement 12 June 2012
Amendment History September 2013 – Incorporate Chief Operating Officer Title
Date for Next Review June 2015
Keywords Travel, Expense
Policy Authorisation Travel Policy
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