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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 93

(Question No. 1128)


Mr Ruddock asked the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 5 March 1984:

(1) What consultants have been engaged to work for the Minister or the Minister 's Department since 1 April 1983.

(2) What is the name of each consultant, or if a company or partnership, the name of the corporation or partnership.

(3) For how long was each consultant engaged.

(4) What fee is to be or has been paid to each consultant.

(5) What special background and experience does each consultant possess to enable the consultant to undertake the engagement.

(6) Was the merit principle applied in each case; if so, in what manner.


Mr Barry Jones —The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) to (5) Consultants engaged by the Department fall into three categories. These are:

Category A-consultants individually selected and engaged in accordance with standing arrangements approved by the Public Service Board.

Category B-consultants individually selected and engaged following approval from the Public Service Board.

Category C-consultants selected from a competitive field and engaged following approval from the Public Service Board.

Category A-Dr. A. Gleadow 2 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only . Dr Gleadow presented lectures on the application of fission track dating for assessing thermal history of sediments. He is a leading specialist in this technique.

Dr M. Solomon 2 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Prior to his commencement with the Department as a senior principal research scientist, Dr Solomon held discussions with professional staff concerning the development of a work program for the Division of Petrology and Geochemistry.

Dr A. Stolz 1 day no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Dr Stolz, Reader at the School of Surveying, University of New South Wales and Chairman of the Academy of Sciences Geodesy Sub-committee consulted on the establishment of a National Geodetic Data Centre in the Division of National Mapping.

Mr. P. R. Mora 2 1/2 days $258.00 plus expenses. Mr Mora assisted in the development and implementation of a computer program for the processing of seismic data for which he had background experience with the Stanford University Geophysics Department.

Banks Bros and Street, Shipbrokers 30 hours $950. Banks Bros and Street conducted a world wide search to find vessels suitable for charter by BMR to carry out long term marine research programs. They were assessed as being the best equipped shipbrokers to conduct this search.

Dr A. G. Duba 1 day no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Dr Duba, a geophysicist with an international reputation for his work on electrical conductivity, presented a lecture on electrical conductivity as a monitor of changes in solid state.

CSIRO National Measurements Laboratory 2 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only.

Dr W. M. Steel, a leading optic expert with CSIRO, inspected the Division of National Mapping Photographic Zenith Tube to assess lens replacement.

Dr G. West 2 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Dr West, a world wide expert on electromagnetic and seismic geophysics, presented a lecture on Borehole Electromagnetics and Inter Borehole Audio Frequency Seismics.

Professor A. Tweedie to be completed late 1984 no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Professor Tweedie, a specialist in the geographic aspects of water resource use and management, is preparing a text on water use for publication as part of the volume 'Water' in the Atlas of Australian Resources.

Professor P. Molnar 5 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Professor Molnar, a world authority in earthquake research and earth movements, consulted on earthquake research.

Davies and Collinson, Solicitors $430.00. Davies and Collinson, who are experienced in the field of mineral physics, provided legal advice on patenting the Dowhole Omnidirectional EM Probe.

Mr I. R. Sluiter 2 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Mr Sluiter provided advice on the palynological examination of fossil material. Expertise of this very specialised nature was not available from other sources.

Ms D. Outram 2 1/2 days $705.00. Ms Outram conducted an effective writing course for officers of the Department. Ms Outram has conducted similar courses for other Government Departments.

Dr. T. Mernagh 4 days no fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Prior to his appointment to the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Dr Mernagh attended a familiarisation inspection of the Tasmanian University Laser-Raman facility and microprocessor attachment.

Dr M. Neudent 1 1/2 $185.00. Dr. Nuedent presented seminars on the sedimentalogy of the Mt Isa area and its bearing on the origin of the mineral deposits. He is a specialist in this field and experienced in sedimentalogy of the Mt Isa region.

Mr R. Franzi 9 hours $500.00. Mr Franzi provided advice on the feasability of upgrading a winch to be used on a marine survey vessel. He is a mechanical engineer with specialised knowledge of this work.

Category B-Prof D. M. Green, Prof B. Hobbs, Prof B. Runnegas, Prof J. Veevers April 83 for 5 years no fees charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. An advisory group comprising of the above mentioned Professors was established to assist the Bureau of Mineral Resources in preparing a series of volumes on the geology of the Australian continent as a project to commemorate the Australian Bicentennial. These internationally accepted authorities will enhance the scientific quality of the publications.

Mr. J. R. Davidson 12.9.83-21.9.83 $1050 plus expenses. Mr Davidson was engaged to review the Bureau of Mineral Resources system for interpreting Bass Strait seismic data. He has had wide petroleum experience in this field particularly in relation to the Bass Basin.

Dr B. Nisbet 22.9.83-12.10.83 $4000 plus expenses. Dr Nisbet was engaged to carry out structural geological research into the establishment of a copper-gold mineralization project in Queensland. He was selected due to his experience in the region as well as his specialist expertise.

Mr M. Hudson 3 days $3000 plus expenses. Mr Hudson developed and presented a course on effective negotiating skills. He is used widely in Australia to present this particular course.

Tour Hosts Pty Ltd 1 day $1897. On the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Tour Hosts Pty Ltd were engaged to provide interpreters for the sixth round of Australia/Japan Consultations on Co-operation in Energy Research and Development.

Woollard, Michell and Young, Quantity Surveyors $16,500. Woollard, Michell and Young were appointed as assessors under the Ranger Project Government Agreement to make estimates of the cost of rehabilitation of the Ranger Project Area as at 31 March 1984 and 31 March 1985. They have previously been engaged to make assessments under this agreement.

Urban Studies Group of the Institute of Australian Geographers completed by April 1984 $6,000. This group were engaged in the preparation of explanatory commentaries to accompany each map in the seven volume Atlas of Population and Housing, 1981 Census. The group is a professional organisation with subject specialists experienced in this facet of work.

J. Toterdell 20/2/84-13/4/84 $3,000. Ms Toterdell was engaged to extract, tabulate and interpret strategic data for the preparation of palaeographic maps. She has had extensive experience in this field and has previously been engaged by the Bureau of Mineral Resources.

Dr R. Ellis April to June 84. No fee charged. Reimbursement of expenses only. Dr Ellis has been engaged to provide specialist computing and geophysical input to BMR's program on earthquake hazards. His expertise in this field has previously been utilized by the Bureau of Mineral Resources.

J. C. Kinna completed March 1984 $3,000 plus expenses Mr Kinna was engaged to provide advice on the technical and structural aspects of a resource rent tax in the petroleum sector. He has had considerable experience in providing advice to governments in this field.

Dr J. E. D. Kerr up to 14 days $250 per day plus expenses. The Commonwealth is involved in a litigation case involving the South Australian Oil and Gas Corporation and Delhi Petroleum Pty Ltd. Dr Kerr is being used by the Deputy Crown Solicitor and the Commonwealth's counsel as a person who can testify to the operations of the Petroleum and Minerals Authority as it applies to this case.

Category C-EPI Consultants. 60 Days $21,000 plus expenses. EPI Consultants produced a series of advisory booklets on energy conservation under the National Energy Conservation Program. Their extensive involvement in the preparation of closely related material for the Municipal Association of Victoria provided relevant experience in this project.

Mrs J. E. Lau. Completion by June 1984. $1,340. Mrs Lau will prepare a text on groundwater resources for publication as part of the volume 'Water' in the Atlas of Australian Resources. She has had previous experience in writing groundwater commentaries for the Department.

Computer People Pty Ltd. 155 hours $5,890. Computer People Pty Ltd provided system support for the Department's HP250 Computer Management Information System . Their professional expertise in HP250 computer systems was superior to that of other tenderers.

Dr J. L. Symonds. Seven month period from 1 December 1983. $32,000 plus expenses. Dr Symonds is preparing a comprehensive report on the involvement of Australians in the British atomic tests programs at Maralinga and Emu, South Australia. Dr Symonds was previously a Division Head with the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and is now an energy/nuclear consultant.

P A Computers and Telecommunications. 8 weeks-February-April 1984. $28,000. PA Computers and Telecommunications were engaged to examine existing and planned ADP systems and advise on what in-house or other computing facilities are necessary to meet Departmental Central Office requirements. They provided the lowest quote of those firms assessed as being suitable to undertake the task.

PA Computers and Telecommunications. 4 weeks-June-July 1984. $17,250. PA Computers and Telecommunications have been engaged to assist with the evaluation of ADP tenders. This task is an extension of the above listed consultancy.

PA Computers and Telecommunications. 3 weeks-May-June 1984. $11,300. PA Computers and Telecommunications have been engaged to review existing word processing facilities in the Department's Central Office (1 week) and BMR (2 weeks) and to provide recommended future strategies in the light of scheduled ADP upgrading. This task is an extension of the above two consultancies.

Siromath Pty Ltd. Completed May 1984. $2,000. Siromath Pty Ltd were engaged to carry out a literature search and provide a preliminary evaluation in relation to extended containment and surveillance as a means of safeguarding large scale nuclear power station reprocessing plants. Siromath has considerable nuclear experience and familiarity with the types of plant and instruments involved.

Siromath Pty Ltd. 30 weeks. $53,950 plus expenses. Siromath Pty Ltd are engaged to conduct an evaluation of techniques in Nuclear Material Accountancy. In addition to nuclear experience Siromath has some expertise with the specific statistical techniques under examination and considerable experience in a variety of scientifically oriented statistical areas.

McLennan Magasanik Associates. Completion by July 1984. $47,500. McLennan Magasanik Associates are undertaking studies into the marketing of solar thermal systems in industry in Australia. They possess appropriate expertise and provided the lowest tender.

McLennan Magasanik Associates. Completion by July 1984. $22,500. McLennan Magasanik Associates are undertaking an assessment of solar pond technology and application in Australia. Their tender indicated appropriate expertise and satisfied all tender specifications.

McLachlan Group Pty Ltd. Completion by July 1984. $49,650. McLachlan Group Pty Ltd are undertaking a study into the feasibility of solar thermal electric systems for Australia. Their tender indicated appropriate expertise and satisfied all tender specifications.

N.S.W. Department of Agriculture. Completion by July 1984. $16,000. The N.S.W. Department of Agriculture is undertaking a study into the opportunities to reduce energy consumption in tillage operations. The Department possesses appropriate expertise and provided the lowest tender.

Australian Dairy Corporation. Completion by July 1984. $29,500. The Australian Dairy Corporation is undertaking a technical and economic assessment into the effect of energy conservation methods and practices on milk concentration technologies. Their tender indicated appropriate expertise and satisfied all tender specifications.

Data Science Pty Ltd. May-December 1984. $38,000. Data Science Pty Ltd has been engaged to participate in the design, data modelling and implementation of a petroleum exploration data index for the Bureau of Mineral Resources. Their tender indicated appropriate expertise and satisfied all tender specifications.

B. R. Senior and Associates. May-December 1984. $40,000. B. R. Senior and Associates has been engaged to participate in design, data modelling and implementation of a petroleum exploration data index for the Bureau of Mineral Resources. Their tender indicated appropriate expertise and satisfied all tender specifications.

(6) Detailed guidelines on the engagement of consultants were issued by the Public Service Board, in consultation with the Department of Finance, in 1978. A copy of these have been provided to the honourable member The guidelines cover situations where the consultant is selected from a competitive field and those where only one consultant can provide the required service. The above groupings of consultants engaged by the Department since April 1983 indicate the category within which they fall.