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Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 173

Senator Robert Ray asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, upon notice, on 17 October 2006:

With reference to overseas travel made by the Minister to Switzerland, France, Denmark, Ireland, United Kingdom and Sweden from 29 May to 3 June 2005:

(1)   What were the costs accrued by the department for: (a) accommodation and services related to accommodation, including any additional hotel rooms or facilities being used as an office and/or for hospitality, which were not paid for by the Department of Finance and Administration; (b) hospitality provided; (c) any security arrangements, other than those provided by the Protective Security Coordination Centre; (d) business centre services; (e) installation of telephone lines; (f) official telephone calls and remote dial-in charges made by the Minister; (g) SIM cards for mobile phones; (h) in-flight communication use; (i) non-official spouse program activities; (j) interpreter services, including fares, accommodation and transport; (k) maps and travel guides; and (l) any airport or VIP lounge hire.

(2)   Were there any costs paid for by the department; if so, can an itemised list be provided, including any accrued costs.

Senator Abetz (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   In regard to a, c, d, h, i, j and k the department did not pay any additional costs. In regard to b, e, f, g and l costs are incurred by delegations from time to time in these areas. It would be an unreasonable diversion of resources to collate the information noting that these details have been requested for a large number of visits.

(2)   Compilation of these details would involve an unreasonable diversion of resources which I am not prepared to authorise.