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Wednesday, 25 September 2002
Page: 4933


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 such that funding was no longer for the plant but was being sought for some other purpose; if so, what was the nature of the new proposal.

(2) Is the new proposal the provision of a sewerage system on the industrial estate in Moruya on which the steel profiling plant is located.

(3) (a) When were the terms of this application changed in this way; (b) who initiated these changes; and (c) can a copy of the changed application for assistance for this project through the DRAP be provided; if not, why not.

(4) What was the date of the publication of the DRAP project summaries round 6, 2001-2.

(5) What level of funding for the installation of the sewerage system on the industrial estate was provided by: (a) the estate developer; (b) the Eurobodalla Shire Council; (c) the New South Wales State Government; and (d) the Federal Government.

(6) Does the provision of funding for the installation of sewerage systems comply with the DRAP guidelines; if so, where in the guidelines is the endorsement of proposals that fund the provision of public infrastructure such as sewerage systems; if not, why was the application funding the sewerage system approved.

(7) (a) What was the level of funding sought through the application for this new proposal; and (b) what was the level of funding approved.

(8) (a) What was the total cost of the changed proposal; (b) what commitment was given by the applicant to meet at least 50 per cent of these costs; (c) in what form was the commitment given; and (d) who gave the commitment.

(9) Has work commenced on the project.

(10) If work has commenced on the new project, what was the date of the commencement of that work.

(11) If that work has been completed, when was it completed.

(12) If there was a variation in the estimated cost of the new proposal: (a) what was the original cost; and (b) what is the level of the cost variation.

(13) Did this changed proposal contain an evaluation process to ensure that agreed project outcomes were met; if so, can details of the evaluation process be provided; if not: (a) were details of such a process sought; and (b) why was this material not provided.

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

(15) Was there any communication about the changes to this application between the proponents of the proposal, or anyone acting on their behalf, the Federal Member for Eden Monaro, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services or his office, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or his office, and the Area Consultative Committee (ACC) prior to the lodgement of the changed 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.

(16) When was the changed application lodged with the south-east New South Wales state office of the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

(17) Was there any communication between the proponents of the changed proposal, or anyone acting on their behalf, the Federal Member for Eden Monaro, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services or his office, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or his office, and the south-east New South Wales state office of the Department of Transport and Regional Services; 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 officers of the south-east New South Wales state office of the Department of Transport and Regional Services were involved in these contacts.

(18) When was the changed application lodged with the federal office of the Department of Transport and Regional Services.

(19) (a) Who lodged the changed application; and (b) can a copy of the changed application for assistance lodged with the federal office be provided; if not, why not.

(20) Was there any communication between the proponents of the changed proposal, or anyone acting on their behalf, the Federal Member for Eden Monaro, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services or his office, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or his office, and the federal office of the Department of Transport and Regional Services; 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 officers of the federal office of the Department of Transport and Regional Services were involved in these contacts.

(21) What assessment was made by the Department of Transport and Regional Services of the changed application.

(22) (a) When was that assessment completed; and (b) what were the findings of that assessment.

(23) What assessments of the above application were made by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or any other federal or state agency.

(24) In each case: (a) who did the assessment; (b) when did the assessment commence; (c) when was the assessment completed; and (d) what were the results of the changed assessment.

(25) (a) How many direct and indirect jobs were estimated to result from the changed application; and (b) what was the anticipated duration of these jobs.

(26) (a) What was the basis of the above job creation estimates; (b) who made the estimates; and (c) was there any review or analysis of these estimates as part of assessing the changed application for funding; if so: (i) who did that assessment, and (ii) what was the result of that assessment.

(27) (a) What assessment was undertaken of the ability of the changed proposal to improve the skills base of the region; (b) who undertook that assessment; and (c) what was the result of that assessment.

(28) (a) What assessment was undertaken of the ability of the changed proposal to tackle disadvantage and encourage growth in the region; (b) who undertook that assessment; and (c) what was the result of that assessment.

(29) When was the changed application sent to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, or his office, for approval or endorsement.

(30) When did the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, or his office, approve or endorse the above proposal.

(31) When was the changed application sent to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, or his office, for approval or endorsement.

(32) When did the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, or his office, approve or endorse the above proposal.


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) No.

(2) No. The former Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business initially received an application for the provision of a sewerage system on the industrial estate in Moruya in July 2001. This application was assessed and found not to meet the guidelines of the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme.

(3) Not applicable.

(4) 7 February 2002.

(5) (a) Unknown. (b) Unknown. (c) Unknown. (d) Nil through DRAP.

(6) No.

(7) to (32) Not applicable.