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Monday, 11 November 2002
Page: 8749


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 18 September 2002:

(1) How many (a) permanent and (b) casual drivers are employed by Comcar in each State and Territory.

(2) How many (a) permanent and (b) casual employees are engaged in non-driving duties in each State and Territory and what are their designations.

(3) Did Comcar have responsibility for the supervision of Comcar drivers during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), if not, which Department did have responsibility.

(4) During CHOGM, how many employees of Comcar, not engaged in CHOGM, travelled to Queensland and (a) who were they, (b) what was the cost of their travel and accommodation and (c) what was the purpose of their visit to Queensland.

(5) Over the last 7 financial years, (a) what training or consultative seminars have been held for management of Comcar, (b) where were such seminars conducted and (c) what was the itemised full cost of each seminar or consultation.

(6) With respect to the duties of drivers and the need for a safe working environment, (a) what is the policy of Comcar on the safety practice of encouraging drivers on long trips to stop every two hours for a break and (b) are drivers required to take such fatigue breaks; if not, why not.


Mr Abbott (Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service) —The Special Minister of State has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)

(a)

Canberra

Sydney

Melbourne

Brisbane

Adelaide

Perth

Hobart

Darwin

Ongoing (Permanent)

11

7

13

5

4

5

1

0

(b)

Canberra

Sydney

Melbourne

Brisbane

Adelaide

Perth

Hobart

Darwin

Non-ongoing (Casual)

115

30

16

5

5

6

0

0

(2) (a) and (b) COMCAR's non-driving staff represent 17.6 per cent of total staff. The bulk of the staff represented in the table are operational staff - engaged in call centre and allocations duties as well as depot operations in all States and the ACT.

Canberra

Sydney

Melbourne

Brisbane

Adelaide

Perth

Hobart

Darwin

Ongoing (Permanent)*

23.5*

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

Non-ongoing(Casual)

13

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Designations

1 SES 13 EXEC 2**2 EXEC 14 APS 64.5 APS 55 APS 417 APS 3

APS 6APS 4

2 APS 5

APS 4

* includes full-time and part-time staff

** one non-ongoing

(3) While the CHOGM Task Force (as part of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet) was responsible for allocating work to drivers (as the client) during CHOGM, COMCAR continued to have responsibility for supervision (including salary) of drivers during the event.

(4) Nil

(5) Over the last seven financial years, COMCAR's driver training has accounted for 87 per cent of COMCAR's training budget. The remaining 13 per cent has been expended on non-driving staff as follows.

Year

Course

Venue

Item

Drivers

Non-driving staff

TOTAL

2001/02

IT Training

Various

Course Fee

$923.45

Writing

In-house

Course fee

$252.72

TOTAL

$115,060.86

$1,176.17

$116,237.03

% of budget

99%

1%

100%

2000/01

FOI & Admin Law

AGS, ACT

Course Fee

$789.55

Comsuper Seminar

In-house

Seminar fee

$410.65

Manager's Program

In-house

Program charges

$17,151.00

HR Training

PSMPC

Course fee

$2,302.73

IT training

Various

Course fee

$2,639.90

Leadership Dev Program

Mt Eliza Business School, Vic

Course fee

$6,150.00

People Management Program

UNSW

Program fee

$3,095.00

TOTAL

$116,958.60

$32,538.83

$149,497.43

% of budget

78.2%

21.8%

100%

1999/ 2000

HR Training

DEWRSB

Course fee

$125.00

HR Training

PSMPC

Course fee

$1890.00

IT Training

Various

Course fees

$22,814.00

Workplace Diversity

PSMPC

Course fees

$1,400.00

IES Conference Training

Course fee

$1695.00

Skillpath Seminar

Seminar fee

$894.00

TOTAL

$58,548.95

$28,818.00

$87,366.95

% of budget

67%

33%

100%

1998/99

Coping with stress

Diabetes Aust

Course fee

$50.00

Skillpath Seminar

Seminar fee

$1029.00

IT training

Various

Course fees

$12,488.10

Leadership training

The Leader-ship Factor

Course fees

$2,750.00

HR training

Various

Course fees

$3,587.00

TOTAL

$90,089.24

$19,904.10

$109,993.34

% of budget

81.9%

18.1%

100%

1997/98

SES Seminar

Various

$250.00

IT training

Various

$1,585.00

Various

Various

$1,566.69

TOTAL

$63,602.36

$3,401.69

$67,004.05

% of budget

94.9%

5.1%

100%

1996/97

Details are unavailable - due to change in financial management information system. Totals are taken from the break-up of costs prepared at the time.

$128,998.7892.2%

$10,964.597.8%

$139.963.37100%

1995/96

Details are unavailable - due to change in financial management information system. Totals are taken from the break-up of costs prepared at the time

$170,000.0088.8%

$21,500.0011.2%

$191,500.00100%

(6) Standard industry fatigue management principles are used to ensure drivers work in a safe environment. COMCAR's policy is in line with these principles and is consistent with industry standards for professional drivers. Accordingly, drivers are encouraged to take a break at least every five hours. In practice, the nature of COMCAR activities means that more frequent breaks are generally achieved.