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Monday, 2 June 2003
Page: 15714


Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 3 March 2003:

(1) With respect to the additional $8 per passenger increase in the Passenger Movement Charge that came into effect on 1 July 2001 to fund increased passenger processing costs as part of Australia's response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease, what is the total additional revenue raised by the charge in (a) 2001-2002 and (b) 2002-2003 to date.

(2) What is the total additional revenue estimated to be raised by the charge in (a) 2002-2003, (b) 2003-2004, (c) 2004-2005 and (d) 2005-2006.

(3) What is the total sum of Passenger Movement Charge collected at each airport and port in (a) 2001-2002 and (b) 2002-2003 to date.

(4) What is the total sum of Passenger Movement Charge estimated to be collected at each airport and port in (a) 2002-2003, (b) 2003-2004, (c) 2004-2005 and (d) 2005-2006.

(5) What sum has been spent by the Government on new quarantine screening equipment at each airport and port since 1 July 2001.

(6) How much additional money has the Government spent on other quarantine processing costs at each airport and port since 1 July 2001 and what services, measures or expenses comprise that additional expenditure at each airport and port.

(7) How much additional money is estimated to be spent on new quarantine screening equipment and other processing costs, respectively, at each airport and port in (a) 2002-2003, (b) 2003-2004, (c) 2004-2005 and (d) 2005-2006.

(8) Which programs are administering costs associated with increased passenger processing costs as part of Australia's response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease and what sum has been spent, and is estimated to be spent, from each program in each year it has operated, or is budgeted to operate, and which Department is responsible for the administration of each program.

(9) Are there any outstanding claims by any organisation or individual for expenditure on equipment or measures as part of Australia's response to the threat of foot and mouth disease; if so, (a) who are the claimants, (b) what is the claim for and (c) will each be paid; if so, when.

(10) How many passengers departing Australia were exempted from paying the Passenger Movement Charge and what is the legal basis and number of passengers for each category of exempted passengers.

(11) Will the $8 foot and mouth response component of the Passenger Movement Charge be removed, increased or reduced commensurate with the movement in costs associated with Australia's response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease; if so, when; if not, why not.


Mr Truss (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) to (4) The answers to these questions do not fall within the responsibilities of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio. The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator the Hon Chris Ellison will provide a response to these questions.

(5) The Government provided an additional $596.4 million with effect from 1 July 2001 to enhance Australia's quarantine controls in response to the increased threat of foot and mouth disease and other quarantine risks. This sum is being spent on increased customs and quarantine screening arrangements at all ports of entry to Australia. The funding provides for increased staff, x-ray equipment, detector dogs, public awareness and infrastructure changes at international airports and mail centres.

(6) Refer to the response to (5).

(7) Refer to the response to (5).

(8) The quarantine programs administering costs associated with increased passenger processing as part of Australia's response to the threat of the introduction of foot and mouth disease relate primarily to international airports and seaports operations. These programs have operated for many years and have a combined Budget for 2002/03 of approximately $69.9 million.

(9) There are no outstanding claims arising from increased quarantine screening activities that are being managed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The Department does not maintain information relating to claims from quarantine screening activities that may be outstanding against other border agencies.

(10) to (11) The answers to these questions do not fall within the responsibilities of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio. The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator the Hon Chris Ellison will provide a response to these questions.