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Monday, 19 September 1994
Page: 959

(Question No. 1683)

Senator Calvert asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 24 August 1994:

  (1) What was the total cost of the Best Practice Week 1994 to the department.

  (2) Was the total cost of the Best Practice Week dinner $22 230; if not, what was the total cost, including advertising catering and venue hire.

  (3) What is the purpose of Best Practice Week.

  (4) How many people took part in activities Australia-wide.

  (5) How many people attended the dinner.

  (6) What is the breakdown of all costs related to Best Practice Week, state by state.

  (7) Is Best Practice Week 1994 considered to be a success; if so, why.

Senator Robert Ray —The Minister for Industrial Relations has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The total cost of Best Practice Week 1994 was $576 878 and it generated revenue of $182 045 resulting in a net cost of $394 833 to the department.

  (2) The total cost of the Best Practice Week opening dinners, in all States and Territories, was $115 333. This was offset by revenue generated of $43 330 resulting in a net cost of $72 003.

  (3) The main purpose of Best Practice Week was to give a high-profile focus to the demonstration activities of the Australian Best Practice Demonstration Program.

  It provided an opportunity for best practice companies to demonstrate the outcomes of their projects—during Best Practice Week there were 36 presentations and/or site tours by best practice companies and 170 speakers in total.

  It also provided a focus for the release of new findings, such as the Australian Manufacturing Council's interim findings on `Best Practice and Networks for Small to Medium Sized Enterprises', which were released at each of the two conferences organised by the Council. Worksafe Australia also launched their Best Practice in Occupational Health and Safety Case Studies during the week.

  It also provided an opportunity to link best practice and the Year of the Family, with three events that covered best practice in work and family issues.

  The week had involvement from unions and industry leaders in Australia, such as Mr Dick Warburton, as well as industry leaders from the United States, Canada and Europe, and observers from our Asian-Pacific neighbours.

  (4) 4 080 people attended events Australia-wide.

  (5) A total of 750 people attended the dinners across Australia.

  (6) The national costs for Best Practice Week totalled $335 747 and consisted of advertising, printing, the technical costs for the video-conference dinners and airfares and accommodation for international speakers and observers.

  The split up by State/Territory covers venue hire, catering, conference organisation services and speakers' fees and is as follows:


State/Territory Cost


Australian Capital Territory $5,376

New South Wales $44,026

Northern Territory $17,067

Queensland $24,675

South Australia $56,802

Tasmania $16,250

Victoria $19,820

Western Australia $57,115

Sub-total States/Territories $241,131

National costs $335,747

Total $576,878


  (7) Best Practice Week 1994 was considered to be a success for the following reasons:

  it had double the number of participants for a similar number of events compared to Best Practice Week 1993;

  it raised the awareness of best practice in both industry and the general community, as evidenced by media coverage such as the four page supplement in the Australian on 9 April 1994;

  it generated revenue of $182 045;

  it provided an opportunity to demonstrate the outcomes of the Best Practice Program to visitors from several neighbouring nations, such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, as well as to the United States; and

  industry and union leaders, such as the Australian Manufacturing Council's Demonstration Committee chaired by Mr Dick Warburton, Chairman of DuPont (Australia), considered the week to have been an effective mechanism for demonstrating the outcomes of projects undertaken by organisations in the Best Practice Program.