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Thursday, 9 June 1994
Page: 1687

(Question No. 1062)


Senator Calvert asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 16 February 1994:

  (1) What amount was paid to Conference Australia, Melbourne, for the use of facilities during a conference, through the Public Affairs section of the department.

  (2) Was the cost $94,477.50.

  (3) What facilities were used.

  (4) What was the purpose of the conference.

  (5) What services did Conference Australia provide.

  (6) What other costs were associated with this conference.

  (7) What is the breakdown of costs associated with this conference.

  (8) Where was the conference held.

  (9) How many people attended the conference.

  (10) Were they all departmental employees; if not, what was the breakdown of people attending.

  (11) Did non-employees pay for their places at the conference; if so, what was the price of a place.

  (12) What proportion of costs were paid for through fees for the conference.


Senator Gareth Evans —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) An amount of $94,477.50 was paid through Conference Australia as conference organiser, to the World Congress Centre in Melbourne for the National Trade and Investment Conference (NTIOC).

  (2) Yes.

  (3) Facilities used were the John Batman Theatre & Rooms 1,2,3 & 4, Green Room, You Yangs Exhibition Hall, Bellarine Rooms 1-6, Press Room, Howqua Rooms 1-4, Otway Rooms 1 & 2.

  (4) The purpose of the National Trade and Investment Outlook Conference `93 (NTIOC) was to instil an export culture in Australia, to provide networking opportunities for Australian business with prominent business people from twelve of Australia's main and potential export markets and to portray Australia as an attractive regional headquarters. The conference brought together decision-makers from small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as mainstream corporate Australia, to discuss ways in which Australian businesses can be informed and take full advantage of international market developments and opportunities.

  Discussion panels of domestic and international industry and market experts joined by senior Australian Government officials considered issues concerning trade opportunities, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and addressed questions as to what global trade and investment trends mean for Australian business. Practical concerns for the potential investor or exporter were illustrated in a matter-of-fact approach and case studies on success stories involving Australian companies marketing overseas detailed essential "how-to" information.

  The Conference was an invaluable forum for:

  Australian and international senior business executives

  Exporters—whether established, emerging or potential

  Providers of export support services, such as banks, legal firms, insurers and freight forwarders

  International investors and conduits to investors

  Media, including foreign business media

  Federal, state and international government representatives

  Academics

  Trade union officials

  Industry associations

  (5) Conference Australia, in accordance with the contract, was responsible for the organisation of a number of arrangements in the lead-up to, during and after the conference. The following provides an indicative but not exhaustive list of activities undertaken:

  Advised the conference steering group on the program including advice on the venue, accommodation, travel options, potential speakers and sponsorship

  Selected the venue, negotiated and liaised with venue management on a range of issues including catering, audio-visual presentations, security and staffing of the conference secretariat

  Identified, secured and managed speakers and their programs including briefings

  Planned and executed NTIOC's marketing strategy, including a conference `flyer', subsequent `teaser' and information brochure

  Advised on the appointment of, briefing and management of a media/public relations consultant and the preparation of media and conference kits

  Arranged suitable accommodation for participants at the best possible rates

  Liaised with the sponsor airline, travel agent and overseas missions to arrange travel for delegates

  Arranged and managed transfers from venues to hotel as required including selection of bus company, negotiation of cost and schedule, provision of written running schedule to the bus company plus confirmation of each transfer in advance and provision of staff on site to oversee loading and departure.

  Determined requirements for signage, designed and managed their production and placement

  Advised on appropriate level and type of sponsor; staged a promotion event and prepared a written sponsorship package outlining the event's objectives and listing benefits to potential sponsors; liaised with sponsors and kept them informed.

  Managed registration and confirmation procedures for the conference and maintained information databases.

  In addition to the contracted functions, Conference Australia planned and managed a number of supplementary activities and events including:

  preparation of conference documentation

  liaison with Victorian State Government representatives

  liaison with Austrade to coordinate the Australian Exporters Award Dinner

  with the conference

  taping of presentation from overseas delegate

  supplementary marketing and briefing activities as requested

  supplementary events as requested by the Minister.

  external events such as international dinners, Ministerial Roundtable, Victorian Government breakfast and a major sponsor's event

  (6) The costs associated with the conference cannot be provided until the conference organiser submits final accounts. In the interim the estimated expenditure and credits relating to sponsorship and registration fees are provided.

Expenditure—$1,181,310

Sponsorship—$100,000

Registrations—$285,945

Balance—$795,365

  (7) Conference Expenses

Additional conference kits—$4,340.20

Advertising—$4,139.00

Air Fares—$9,187.95

Artworks Bromides and printing—$16,622.02

Audio Visual—$116,768.12

Breakfasts and lunches—Sheraton—$6,000.00

Bus Transports—$4,970.00

Chauffeured Cars—Mission—$499.25

Computer Toner—$204.11

Conference Australia Fares/Accom.—$745.90

Conference Australia Fees—$35,000.00

Conference Kits—$83,916.01

Conference Slides—$4,281.00

Leaders Forum—$10,000.00

Couriers—$6,289.45

Equipment (Secretaries—WCC)—$6,689.94

Facsimile/Telephone—$4,645.01

Gala Dinner—$5,210.00

International Dinners—$126,677.90

(Thailand, Taiwan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Korea

Japan, Indonesia, India, Germany, China, Chile)

Interpreting Facilities—$2,175.00

Mailout—$2,960.39

Media Centre—$98,076.30

Meeting Catering—$467.30

Miscellaneous—$5,319.10

Name Tags—$5,089.00

Photocopying—$7,083.30

Postage—$1,057.50

Pre Conference Briefings—$1,558.20

Printing—$2,175.70

Venue Hire and catering—$183,924.61

Satellite—$16,428.79

Signage—$20,315.00

Stationery—$4,032.65

TNAG Meeting—$2,500.00

Taxis/Parking—$3,216.40

Temporary Staff—$22,759.50

Remuneration (DITARD)—$22,775.00

State Offices/Posts—$10,000.00

Publications—$42,635.60

Administration—$4,409.75

Official Functions—$2,781.60

Security—$2,262.00

SUB TOTAL—$910,188.50

Australian—Fares and accommodation

Speakers and Panellists—$51,773.50

Overseas Delegations

Fares and accommodation

USA—$26,759.00

Germany—$43,355.00

Switzerland—$8,885.00

Chile—$52,919.00

China—$37,200.00

India—$27,339.00

New Zealand—$12,712.00

Indonesia—$7,521.00

SUB TOTAL—$219,348.00

Conference Costs—$1,181,310.00

Less Registrations—$285,945.00

and Sponsorship—$100,000.00

Total Costs—$795,365.00

  (8) The conference was held at the World Congress Centre in Melbourne from Wednesday 24 November to Friday 26 November 1993.

  (9) 904 people attended the conference.

  (10) The Conference attendance was as follows:

Registered Delegates—450

Overseas Official Delegates, Mini Missions/ Speakers—169

Media Delegates—82

Other Government Delegates including escort officers—170

Conference Australia support staff—33

Total—904

  (11) Non-employees paid registration fees as follows:

Full registration $695—367 persons

Half registration $350—50 persons

Daily registration $100—33 persons

Total—450

  (12) As mentioned in point (6), final accounts for the conference are yet to be provided but estimates indicate that 20-25% of costs will be covered by registration fees.