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Wednesday, 15 May 2002
Page: 1641

Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 12 February 2002:

(1) Can the Minister confirm that a letter (reference K98/1492K98/1751) contained in documents (file reference K99920007) relating to an investigation into heavy vehicles undertaken by Roaduser International, and tabled in response to an order for the production of documents by the Senate, was not the only written communication from Louise and John Bauer.

(2) If all written communications from Mrs and Mr Bauer were contained in the documents tabled on 27 November 2000 in response to the order, can the Minister provide specific reference numbers for the additional documents.

(3) If all written communications from Mrs and Mr Bauer were not contained in the tabled documents: (a) why were they deleted; and (b) can copies of all these documents be provided.

Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The questions asked by Senator O'Brien refer to processes and actions in relation to the Investigation Into The Specification Of Heavy Trucks And Consequent Effects On Truck Dynamics And Drivers, conducted for the Department of Transport and Regional Services by consultants Roaduser International. Many of the questions are based on speculation or refer to the actions of third parties that could not be known to either the Department or the Minister.

While the Minister for Transport and Regional Services was briefed on the overall progress of the Roaduser International investigation, the Minister was not involved in the investigation or operational processes, nor was he provided with detail at the level that is raised by the questions. Some of the questions relate to papers tabled on 27 November 2000. The consultants' report was tabled on 18 April 2000, the investigation has been finalised and is reported on the Australian Transport Safety Bureau website. The Minister is not prepared to commit further resources to this matter.