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Monday, 30 May 1994
Page: 893

(Question No. 902)


Senator Ian Macdonald asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, upon notice, on 20 December 1993:

  With reference to the oyster farming course for the Yidinji Aboriginal Community Corporation:

  (1) Did the department receive a statement provide department receive a full report of the course in accordance with the Special Course Agreement Project No 0036665F, if so please provide a copy of the report, if not, why not.

  (2) Did the department receive a statement provided by the sponsoring body certifying that the purposes and conditions of the grant for the course have been complied with, in accordance with the Special Course Agreement; if so please provide a copy of the statement, if not, why not.

  (3) Did the department receive an audited statement of expenditure for the course in accordance with the Special Course Agreement, if so please provide a copy of the statement; if not, why not.

  (4) Did the department produce any reports on any inspections undertaken by the department or an appointed agent, or collect extracts from the books of account, throughout the duration of the course; if so please provide a copy of the documents.


Senator Collins —The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission has provided the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs with the following information in response to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) ATSIC received the relevant report and has provided a copy to Senator Macdonald. In addition, it should be noted that both DEET and ATSIC have received numerous reports detailing the progress of the training program and the trainees have undergone an extensive training program culminating in the awarding of Certificates of Competency to those attending the program.

  Furthermore it should be noted that ATSIC has obtained a copy of a feasibility study undertaken of the project, conducted by marine biologist, Dr Peter Ayres, which indicates that the project has the potential to be a viable concern.

  (2) The grant was administered firstly by DEET then was transferred over to ATSIC on 1/7/92. ATSIC has received acquittal documents for the period covered by the DEET funding ie 29 June 1992 to 25 September and for the period covered by the ATSIC administered grant ie September 1992 to 25 December 1992. The documentation received does not include a `certificate of funds usage'. This matter is being followed-up with the organisation and a copy will be provided to Senator Macdonald on receipt.

  (3) No. The organisation has failed to submit an audited statement. ATSIC has provided the organisation with funds to enable it to commission an audit and the organisation has been requested to appoint an auditor as a matter of priority. A copy of the audit report will be supplied to Senator Macdonald when obtained.

  (4) No.