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Wednesday, 9 February 2005
Page: 174


Senator O’Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 22 December 2004:

(1)   By state and territory, which isolated communities are supported by the Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme (RASS) in the 2004-05 financial year.

(2)   For the 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05 financial years: (a) which communities have made application to the RASS but were not accepted for admission; (b) which of these communities met the criteria for admission but were not admitted due to budget constraints; and (c) which communities have been admitted to the RASS by the Minister despite not meeting criteria for admission.

(3) (a)   For the 2002-03 and 2003-04 financial years, how many communities were supported by the RASS; and (b) how many communities are supported in the 2004-05 financial year.

(4)   With reference to the 2004-05 RASS budget announcement, how many communities will be supported by the scheme in the 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 financial years.

(5)   Was the tender process for the selection of RASS operators that commenced in May 2004 completed by 30 June 2004; if not: (a) why not; (b) is it the case that operators’ contracts ended on 30 June 2004; (c) when was the tender completed; (d) which operators now hold the contracts; and (e) what is the term of those contracts.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   A list of communities receiving support under RASS in 2004-05 as at 1 January 2005 is at Attachment A.

 (2)  

2002 - 03

2003 - 04

2004 - 05

a) which communities have made application to the RASS but were not accepted for admission

WA - Spring Creek Station

Yagga Yagga community

NT - Kenmore Park Station, Yuelamu community, Mountain Valley Station

SA - Anangu Pijantjatjara Lands communities x 9

WA - Ethel Creek Station, Nullagine township

Qld - Sandringham Station, Chillagoe township Bolwarra Station, Normanton township, Kowanyama community, Coen township, Burketown township

NT - Eva Downs Station, Victoria River Downs Station, Kalkarindi community

Delamere Station (NT) as did not meet the RASS eligibility criteria

b) which of these communities met the criteria for admission but were not admitted due to budget constraints

Kenmore Park Station

nil

nil

c) which communities have been admitted to the RASS by the Minister despite not meeting criteria for admission

Nil

Nil

Nil

(3)   The number of communities supported by RASS in 2002-03 was 250.  In 2003-04 the number of communities supported by RASS was around 230 and as at 1 January 2005 the number of communities receiving RASS are 217.

(4)   The RASS budget for the forward years will enable additional communities to be admitted onto the RASS scheme.  It is impossible to estimate the number of communities likely to apply between 2005 - 06 and 2007 - 08 as communities can apply at any time and if they are eligible for RASS, if there are funds available and an air operator is able to provide the weekly air passenger and freight service, then the community can begin to receive a RASS service.  Additionally communities currently receiving a RASS service may seek to no longer receive the service or may become ineligible for the RASS service (eg by not complying with aerodrome standards set by CASA, by separately receiving a regular air service or by improvements to local roads thereby reducing the time taken to drive to their local service centre).  The cost for providing the RASS service to each individual community is dependent upon a range of factors such as distance to other RASS ports, the effect on the flight time of an existing air service and hourly flying costs.  Taking all these factors into account it is not possible to quantify the number of communities that will be supported by RASS into the future.

(5)   The RASS tender process was not completed by 30 June 2004:

(a)   In late January 2004, the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS) invited tenders for new contracts for RASS services to eligible communities.  Tenders received indicated that the quantum of RASS funding at that time was not sufficient to service all eligible communities.  The 2004-05 Budget provided additional funding of $7.7m for the scheme over the next four years.  The January tender was terminated and a new tender commenced.  This new tender was advertised on 22 May 2004 and closed on 15 June 2004.  Evaluation of the tender bids was detailed and complex and could not be completed by 30 June 2004.

(b)   Yes, contracts with existing RASS air operators ended on 30 June 2004, however these contracts were extended to enable RASS services to continue while the tender evaluation process was finalised.

(c)   The RASS tender panel’s recommendations were approved by the delegate on 28 October 2004.

(d)   The following air operators were successful in winning RASS contracts:

  • Lip Air Pty Ltd t/a Aero-Tropics (Cape York region)
  • West Wing Aviation (Channel and Gulf Country regions)
  • Syncom Pty Ltd t/a Chartair (Northern Territory regions)
  • Aboriginal Air Services (Desert Country region)
  • Golden Eagle Airlines (Kimberley and Pilbara regions)
  • Aerotechnology Pty Ltd (Cape Barren Island).

(e)   The term of the new RASS contracts is two years with an option to extend by no more than two periods of twelve months each.

Attachment A

RASS COMMUNITIES/PORTS BY REGION - as at 1 January 2005

REGION 1 - PILBARA - All in Western Australia

1. Tangadee Station

2. Prairie Downs Station

3. Turee Creek Station

4. Jigalong Community

5. Balfour Downs Station

6. Parnngurr Aboriginal Community (Cotton Creek)

7. Punmu Aboriginal Corporation

8. Kunawarritji Aboriginal Community (Well 33)

9. Hillside Station

10. Warrawagine Station

11. Yarrie Station

REGION 2 - KIMBERLEY Communities in NT are shown, otherwise all in WA

12. Myroodah Station

13. Kalyeeda Station

14. Beefwood Park Station

15. Bohemia Downs

16. Yampi Field Training Area (previously Kimbolton and Oobagooma Stations)

17. Mt Hart (Wilderness Lodge)

18. Beverley Springs Station

19. Mt House Station

20. Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary (Old Mornington Homestead)

21. Tablelands Station (Yulmbu Aboriginal Corporation)

22. Mt Elizabeth Station

23. Kandiwal Aboriginal Corporation

24. Kalumburu Mission

25. Theda Station

26. Doongan Station

27. Drysdale River Station

28. Ellenbrae Station

29. Home Valley Station

30. Ringer Soak Aboriginal Community (Kundat Djaru)

31. Bililuna Station (Mindibungu Aboriginal Corporation)

32. Mulan Aboriginal Community (Lake Gregory)

33. Inverway Station (NT)

34. Balgo Aboriginal Community

35. Gibb River Station

36. Nicholson Station

37. Birrindudu Station (NT)

38. Dampier Downs

39. Oombulgurri Aboriginal Association

40. Flora Valley Station

41. Liveringa Station

42. Nerrima Station

43. Millajidee (Kadjina Community)

44. Noonkanbah (Yungnora Association)

45. Mt Barnett

REGION 3 - CHANNEL COUNTRY Communities in Queensland are shown, otherwise all in South Australia

46. Marree township

47. Dulkaninna Station

48. Etadunna Station

49. Mulka Station

50. Clifton Hills Station

51. Pandie Pandie Station

52. Cordillo Downs Station

53. Innamincka township and station (using station airstrip)

54. Merty Merty Station

55. Moolawatana Station

56. Roseberth Station -(QLD)

57. Durrie Station - (QLD)

58. Glengyle Station - (QLD)

59. Durham Downs Station - (QLD)

60. Cowarie Station

61. Mungerannie Station

REGION 4 - CAPE BARREN ISLAND - Tasmania

62. Cape Barren Island

REGION 5 - CAPE YORK - All in Queensland

63. Robin Hood Station

64. Georgetown Post Office

65. Abingdon Downs Station

66. Torwood Station

67. Wrotham Park Station

68. Bellevue Station

69. Mt Mulgrave Station

70. Gamboola Station

71. Highbury Station

72. Dunbar Station

73. Dinah Island Station

74. Inkerman Station

75. Rutland Plains Station

76. Drumduff Station

77. Strathleven Station

78. Pinnacles Station

79. Balurga Station

80. Southwell Station

81. Stathmay Station

82. Strathburn Station

83. Strathhaven Station

84. Dixie Station

85. Mary Valley Station

86. Lakefield National Park

87. New Laura Ranger Station

88. Battle Camp Station

89. Musgrave Roadhouse

90. Violet Vale Station

91. Lilyvale Station

92. Yarraden Station

93. Crystal Vale Station

94. Holroyd River Station

95. Rokeby (Mungkan Kaaju National Park)

96. Archer River Roadhouse / Wolverton Station

97. Orchid Creek Station

98. Piccaninny Plains Station

99. Merluna Station

100. Watson River Station

101. Wattle Hill Station

102. Batavia Downs Station

103. Moreton township

104. Croydon township

105. Bramwell Station

106. Strathgordon Station

107. Silver Plains Station 

108. Glen Garland Station

109. Vanrook Station

110. Heathlands Ranger Base

111. Kendall River Station

112. Koolatah Station

113. Kalinga Station

114. Sudley Station

115. Koolburra Station

116. Palmerville Station

117. Fairlight  Station

118. King Junction Station

119. Laura (township)

120. Dorunda Station

121. Kingvale Station

REGION 6 - GULF COUNTRY Communities in NT are shown, otherwise all in Queensland

122. Lake Nash Station / Alpurrurulam Aboriginal Community (NT)

123. Austral Downs Station (NT)

124. Headingly Station

125. Barkly Downs Station

126. Herbertvale Station

127. Bowthorn Station

128. Lawn Hill Station

129. Hell’s Gate Roadhouse/Cliffdale Station

130. Augustus Downs Station

131. Wondoola Station

132. Iffley Station

133. Tobermorey Station

134. Manners Creek Station

135. Gregory Downs (township)

136. Lorraine Station

REGION 7 - NORTHERN TERRITORY - NORTH OF TENNANT CREEK - All in NT

137. Bunda Station

138. Riveren Station

139. McDonald Bore Station

140. Camfield Station

141. Montejinni Station

142. Gilnockie Station

143. Killarney Station

144. Yarralin (Walpiri Aboriginal Community)

145. Humbert River Station

146. Kidman Springs Station

147. Limbunya Station

148. Waterloo Station

149. Legune Station

150. Bullo River Station

151. Auvergne Station

152. Bulman Aboriginal Community

153. Hodgson Downs (Alawa) Aboriginal Community (Minyeri)

154. Hodgson River Station

155. Linman National Park (Nathan River Homestead)

156. Tanumbirini Station

157. McArthur River (Bessie Springs) Station

158. Borroloola township

159. Pungalina Station

160. Mungoorbada Aboriginal Community (Robinson River)

161. Wollogorang Station/Roadhouse

162. Redbank Mine

163. Calvert Hills Station

164. Kiana Station

165. Mallapunya Springs Station

166. Wallhallow Station

167. Benmara Station

168. Ucharonidge Station

169. Mittiebah Station

170. Suplejack Station

171. Kildurk Station (Amanbidji/Mialuni)

172. Nelson Springs Station

173. Urapunga School

174. Bunbidee (Pigeon Hole) Community

175. Wave Hill Station

REGION 8 - NORTHERN TERRITORY - SOUTH OF TENNANT CREEK - Communities in Western Australia and South Australia are shown, otherwise all in NT

176. Lambina Station (SA)

177. Todmorden Station (SA)

178. Tieyon Station (SA)

179. Mt Dare Homestead/Motel (SA)

180. New Crown Station

181. Finke (Apatula)

182. Andado Station

183. Lilla Creek Station

184. Idracowra Station

185. Kiwirrkurra (Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal Community (WA)

186. Vaughan Springs Station

187. Mt Denison Station

188. Willowra School/Community

189. Tanami Downs Station

190. Rabbit Flat Roadhouse

191. The Garden Station

192. Alcoota Station (share airstrip with Engawaca Aboriginal Community)

193. Harts Range (Atitjere Aboriginal Community)

194. Jervois Station

195. Tarlton Downs Station

196. Lucy Creek Station

197. Urapuntja Council - based at Arlparra (Utopia)

198. Ammaroo Station

199. Ampilatwatja Aboriginal Community

200. Argadargada Station

201. Annitowa Station

202. Epenarra Aboriginal Community/Station

203. Canteen Creek Aboriginal Community (Owairtilla)

204. Elkedra Station

205. Umbeara Station 

206. Arramwelke Aboriginal Corporation (Baikal Airstrip)

207. Marqua Station

208. Numery Station

209. Ringwood Station

REGION 9 - DESERT COUNTRY - Communities as shown

210. Cosmo Newberry (Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal Community) (WA)

211. Tjirrkali (Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal Community) (WA)

212. Patjarr (Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal Community) (WA)

213. Tjuntjuntjarra Aboriginal Community (WA)

214. Ilkurlka Aboriginal Community (WA)

215. Mt Lindsay (Pitjantjatjara Lands) (SA)

216. Nyapari (Pitjantjatjara Lands) (SA)

217. Docker River Aboriginal Community (NT)