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Monday, 21 June 2010
Page: 3856


Senator Abetz asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 21 December 2009:

   With reference to the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15):

   (1)   For each delegate attending COP15, can the following details be provided:

(a)   their name;

(b)   their title;

(c)   their employment classification and salary, including a full and detailed job description (and specifically where the term adviser is used, in what area of government do they specialise);

(d)   their designated role;

(e)   what days they worked;

(f)   the cost for travel;

(g)   the cost of commercial travel;

(h)   the class of travel taken;

(i)   the name of the agency or office that employed them; and

(j)   what papers, speeches or advice they gave.

   (2)   Can the following details be provided:

(a)   the number of first class bookings made;

(b)   the total cost of first class travel;

(c)   the number of business class bookings made;

(d)   the total cost of business class travel;

(e)   the number of economy class bookings made; and

(f)   the total cost of economy class travel.

   (3)   What was the total cost of travel for the delegation.

   (4)   Were state and territory delegates paid for by their respective state and territory governments or by the Federal Government.

   (5)   What was the total cost of all relevant participants to:

(a)   the Federal Government; and

(b)   each state and territory.

   (6)   Can a list be provided of all participants grouped under each:

(a)   state and territory; and

(b)   agency and department.

   (7)   What was the role of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) at COP15.

   (8)   How many AFP officers were present at COP15.

   (9)   Can an outline be provided of:

(a)   the roles of:

(i)   Mr Howard Bamsey, Special Envoy on Climate Change, and

(ii)   Ms Louise Hand, Ambassador for Climate Change at COP15; and

(b)   the differences between the roles.

   (10) Was there an official doctor travelling with the Australian group participating at COP15; if so, what was the name of the doctor and can a description of employment be provided.

   (11) Can an outline be provided of the differences between the role of an adviser employed by the Department of Climate Change and that of a political adviser also employed by the same department.

   (12) Why was a student from the University of Oxford travelling with the group from Australia.

   (13) Was the student currently on exchange to another university within Australia.

   (14) What did the student contribute to COP15.

   (15) Who paid for the cost of the student to participate at Copenhagen.

   (16) Can a full job description be provided for the following:

(a)   desk officer; and

(b)   baggage liaison officer.

   (17) Why was an official photographer required as part of the Australian delegation to COP15.

   (18) Was an official photographer or photographers paid for by the organisers of COP15.

   (19) What were the differences between the roles of the photographers in (17) and (18) above.


Senator Chris Evans (Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) —The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1) (a)   to(d) and 1(i) I understand that the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong will provide details about the Official Australian Delegation to COP15 in her response to House of Representatives Question on Notice 1308 asked by Mr Fletcher on 15 March 2010. The Australian Government does not hold records about the role expected of members of state or territory governments or of non-Government Organisations in the Official Australian Delegation. Questions about those members of the Official Australian Delegation should be directed to the relevant organisations Three staff members from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet attended COP15. They were: - Mr Patrick Suckling, First Assistant Secretary (SES B2), International Division - Ms Chelsey Martin, Senior Advisor (EL2), International Division, and - Ms Rebecca Christie, Visit Coordinator (EL1), Ministerial Support Unit Mr Suckling’s role was to provide advice to the Prime Minister on his international agenda and foreign policy, including in support of his meetings with other world leaders. Ms Martin heads up the Global and Regional Architecture section. The section’s responsibilities include coordinating the Prime Minister’s international advocacy on the Government’s key foreign policy priorities. Ms Martin travelled to Copenhagen to provide support for the Prime Minister’s international advocacy relating to the COP15. Consistent with usual practice, Ms Christie travelled to Denmark in advance of the Prime Minister to work with the relevant agencies and Embassy/High Commission to coordinate logistical arrangements necessary to deliver an effective and efficient Prime Ministerial visit.

(e)   Formal meetings commenced in Copenhagen on Monday 7 December 2009 and concluded on the afternoon of Saturday 19 December 2009. No formal UNFCCC meetings were scheduled on Sunday 13 December 2009. However, informal negotiations commenced before 7 December, were ongoing through Sunday 13 December and through to the conclusion of the conference. In addition to the days attended at COP15, some officials participated in additional meetings and negotiations immediately prior to the formal UNFCCC meetings. In addition, some officials also attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago (27-29 November 2009).

(f)   to (h) The total costs of relevant participants from the Official Australian Delegation are not available for the following reasons: - Excluding travel by Special Purpose Aircraft, costs of official overseas travel by Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, accompanying spouses (where relevant) and accompanying staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 are paid for by the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance). Finance has advised that expenditure for this overseas visit has not yet been reconciled. Dates, destinations, the purpose and costs of all official overseas travel are tabled in the Parliament every six months in a report titled Parliamentarians’Travel paid by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. These reports are also published on the Finance web site. -  The Australian Government has no records of the costs incurred by members of state or territory governments or of non-Government Organisations in the Official Australian Delegation. All costs associated with state and territory members of the Official Australian Delegation were paid by the state and territory governments. The Australian Government did not pay for observers from non-government organisations. - The AFP does not comment on security or issues that may disclose methodology associated with security matters. Any disclosure of costs associated with the security of the Prime Minister has a potential to identify methodology. However, the costs for staff from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet totalled $47,637. Questions about the expenditure for other members of the Offical Australian Delegation should be directed to the relevant agencies. Ms Martin and Ms Christie travelled business class to and from Copenhagen. Mr Suckling made his own way to London and flew business class to Copenhagen. He returned to Australia with the PM on the VIP jet.

(j)   It is not possible to provide a complete set of the papers, speeches or advice given by each member of the Official Australian Delegation to COP15. The Australian Government did not provide administrative support of this sort to members of the Australian Official Delegation who represented State and Territory Governments and the non-government organisations. Further, discussions by any member of the Australian Official Delegation would not necessarily have been recorded.

(a)   to (f). The total bookings or costs incurred by the Official Australian Delegation to COP15 are not available for the reasons outlined in response to part 1 of this question. As at 3 March 2010, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet had incurred: Airfares $25,820.29 Accommodation $19,682.53 Meals $904.40 Transport $161.26 Miscellaneous $1,069.43

(3)   Refer to the answer for part 1 of this question.

(4)   Refer to the answer for part 1 of this question.

(5)   Refer to the answer for part 1 of this question.

(6)   Refer to part 1 of this question.

(7)   The role of the AFP was the protection and security of the Prime Minister.

(8)   Five (5) AFP protection officers attended COP15.

(9) (a)   (i) The role of Mr Howard Bamsey, Special Envoy on Climate Change, at COP15 was to undertake high level representation and strategic engagement with key parties and to participate in meetings in support of Minister Wong. (ii) The role of Ms Louise Hand, Ambassador for Climate Change, at COP15 was as Lead Negotiator.

(b)   The differences between the roles was that Mr Bamsey had a broader strategic role and represented Minister Wong at times, whereas Ms Hand engaged in the more detailed negotiations and led the DCC negotiating team.

(10)   As has been practice with the current government and previous governments, a doctor usually travels with the Prime Minister on overseas visits. The medical officer on this occasion was Mr Stephan Rudzki.

(11)   There was no political adviser employed by the Department of Climate Change. The provisional (draft) list of COP participants circulated by the UNFCCC Secretariat contained some error, including a reference to a student from Oxford University being part of the Official Australian Delegation.

(12)   There was no student from the University of Oxford on the Official Australian delegation. The provisional (draft) list of COP15 participants was compiled by and circulated by the UNFCCC Secretariat and it reflected information submitted in advance of the COP15 meeting.

(13)   Refer to answer for part 12 of this question.

(14)   Refer to answer for part 12 of this question.

(15)   Refer to answer for part 12 of this question.

(16)   There are no job descriptions for a desk officer and a baggage liaison officer. The titles reflect roles taken on by staff members among other duties performed and are not formal position titles. The Desk Officer provided policy advice in Copenhagen. The Baggage Liaison Officer role was performed, amongst other roles, by a member of the Royal Australian Airforce and a Locally Engaged Staff member.

(17)   As has been the practice of successive Governments, an official photographer routinely accompanies the Prime Minister and delegations on overseas visits.

(18)   I understand that an official photographer was retained by COP15.

(19)   The role of the Australian official photographer is to record the activities of the Australian Prime Minister and Delegation. I am unaware of the particulars of the roles of the official photographer to COP15.