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Wednesday, 25 September 2002
Page: 4932


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 6 August 2002 :

With reference to an application made through the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) to fund a steel profiling plant at Moruya, in the Eurobodalla Shire of New South Wales, listed in the DRAP project summaries round 6, 2001-02:

(1) Were the terms of the application varied in any way following publication of the original application guidelines; if so: (a) were these variations related to the construction of the plant or the installation of equipment; (b) when were the terms of this application varied; and (c) who varied those terms.

(2) Can a copy of the varied application for assistance for this project from DRAP be provided.

(3) (a) What level of funding was sought through the amended application; and (b) what was the level of funding approved.

(4) (a) What was the total cost of the amended proposal; and (b) what commitment was give by the applicant to meet at least 50 per cent of these costs.

(5) Did this amended proposal contain an evaluation process to ensure that agreed project outcomes were met; if so, can a copy of that evaluation process be provided.

(6) (a) If the amended application did not include an evaluation process, why not; and (b) was this material sought as part of the approval process; if not, why not.

(7) If such an evaluation process was not included in the application, why was the application approved.

(8) Was there any communication about the variations to this application between the proponents of the proposal, or anyone acting on their behalf, the Federal Member for Eden Monaro, the Minister or his office, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or his office, and the ACC prior to the lodgement of the amended application; if so: (a) when did each communication take place; (b) who was involved in each communication; (c) what was the nature of each communication; (d) what was the form of each communication; and (e) which members of the ACC were involved in these contacts.


Senator Ian Macdonald (Minister for Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The DRAP application guidelines were published upon commencement of the programme. This application, as with most applications to the DRAP, was revised. (a) Yes. (b) Between 27 August 2001 and 12 December 2001. (c) The proponent.

(2) The application contains Commercial-In-Confidence information.

(3) (a) $309,000 (GST exclusive). (b) $309,000 (GST exclusive).

(4) (a) $619,000 (GST exclusive). (b) The applicant committed $310,000 in cash contributions towards the project.

(5) Yes. The evaluation will be conducted independently at project completion against the project plan and the objectives and performance indicators contained within.

(6) Not applicable.

(7) Not applicable.

(8) The Department of Transport and Regional Services is not aware of any such communication between the proponent, or any person on their behalf, the Federal Member for Eden Monaro, the Minister, or his office, and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and forestry, or his office. Numerous communications occurred between the proponent and the ACC during the development of the project to final application stage.