For legal aid to be granted for travel by air for solicitor or counsel the following tests must be satisfied:
- aid has been provided for the substantive matter, and
- the practitioner is required to travel, and
- travel is undertaken in the most economic manner possible or the costs requested are the most cost effective option
Requests for interstate travel and requests for travel to Indonesia (for people smuggling matters) are referred to the Assistant Director Grants for determination.
Requests for international travel (except for travel to Indonesia) are determined by the CEO.
Practitioners seeking an extension of aid for travel by air, should electronically submit an extension for aid request via the Grants Online system prior to travelling and at the earliest possible opportunity with a quote for the proposed airfare attached.
The most economical manner
For the purpose of this guideline Legal Aid Queensland regards the most economic manner as, the cheapest air fare available that allows for flexibility, if required. In no circumstances will aid be approved for more than economy class travel.
Legal Aid Queensland expects practitioners to book airfares at the earliest possible opportunity.
If a legal practitioner is required to be absent from their usual place of business over a weekend, Legal Aid Queensland will consider whether it is more cost effective to provide accommodation or air fares.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for an airfare is AIRF for solicitors or BOT for counsel.
Extension(s) of aid
Travelling time is claimable when travelling by air. The grant of aid is TT for solicitors or BOT for counsel.
Where a service provider has to travel to a location by air, taxi fares are payable to and from:
- the airport and the practitioner’s usual place of business
- the airport and the location (ie court, tribunal, conference venue, hotel accommodation, home visit, site visit etc).
Taxi fares are not usually claimable in any other circumstances.
Invoices verifying taxi fares must be retained on the practitioner’s file.
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).