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Wednesday, 15 October 2003
Page: 21612


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 8 September 2003:

(1) In respect of the almost 200 written submissions and consultation with some 1,000 businesses, has he or his department undertaken any analysis of the time taken by business in developing and providing submissions to the Regional Business Development Analysis; if so, how much time was taken by businesses and business organisations to prepare submissions to the Regional Business Development Analysis.

(2) How much has the Regional Business Development Analysis cost.

(3) What was the total cost for daily sitting fees for members of the independent panel.

(4) What was the total cost of travel and travel allowance for members of the independent panel.

(5) How many staff from (a) the Department of Transport and Regional Services and (b) other Commonwealth agencies have worked on this project.

(6) How many staff days had Commonwealth Officers worked on this project up to 7 July 2003 when the action plan from the independent panel was presented to him.

(7) Has a report from the Regional Business Development Analysis been considered by Cabinet; if so, were comments provided to Cabinet from (a) the Treasury, (b) the Department of Finance and Administration, (c) the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and (d) the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.

(8) What is the current status of the action plan submitted by the Regional Business Development Analysis independent panel to him on 7 July 2003 and when does he intend to release the action plan.

(9) Will he be providing any feedback to the people who and the organisations which provided the almost 200 submissions and 1000 consultations to the independent panel; if so, when.

(10) When will he provide a Government response to the action plan.


Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) No such analysis was undertaken. However, the time taken would vary greatly as submissions ranged from just a few pages to more substantial documents.

(2) A total of $1,484, 644 was expended on the Regional Business Development Analysis from early 2002 until 7 July 2003.

(3) The total cost of sitting fees was $46,207.

(4) Travel costs for the panel were $64,331.

(5) (a) On average, 6 staff from the Department of Transport and Regional Services worked on the project. This number varied depending upon workload pressures. (b) One officer from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry worked on the project for a period of 13 months.

(6) Records of actual staff days are not kept. It is estimated that approximately 1,830 staff days were involved on the project.

(7) Details of Cabinet discussions are confidential.

(8) The Action Plan was publicly released on 27 August 2003.

(9) A printed copy of the Action Plan and Minister Anderson's media release were mailed to each person/organisation that provided a submission, and the Action Plan is publicly available on the RBDA website. Additional printed copies are also available on request.

(10) The Government is currently examining the report and its recommended actions.