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10 November 2008

372  MR BALDWIN: To ask the Minister for Defence—Further to his answer to my question without notice ( Hansard , 22 October 2008, page 54) concerning the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) and pay and allowance issues for Special Air Services (SAS) personnel—

(1) What date did the DFRT hand down the determination on pay and allowances for the SAS.

(2) When was he notified of the determination.

(3) Who brought the issue before the DFRT and what outcome did they request.

(4) If this matter was not referred to the DFRT, why did the DFRT decide to review it.

(5) Why was there any requirement at all to reduce the level salaries and allowances to members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

(6) Why was the DFRT determination back-dated to August 2007.

(7) Why was the determination not given effect from a future date.

(8) What hardship provisions were made for the affected personnel.

(9) Why was an interest rate of 7.2 per cent applied to the ‘debt’ when it was not incurred by fault of the person serving.

(1 0) Were the estates of soldiers killed in Afghanistan affected by this decision; if so, has he reversed the decision.

(11) Who decided that a soldier could live on $250.00 per fortnight after deductions for debt repayment, given that a single pensioner currently receives around $281.00 per week.

(12) Why was the Chief of the Defence Force not informed by the DFRT of the likely consequences arising from the determination.

(13) How was the DFRT’s decision conveyed to those who were to be adversely affected.

(14) Were deployed personnel informed of the decision while they were overseas.

(15) Has all of the money repaid by the affected service persons, including interest payments, been reimbursed to the service persons.

(16) How will this decision impinge upon the superannuation of the affected persons.

375  MR MORRISON: To ask the Minister for Defence—In respect of his department’s land at West Wattle Grove Moorebank, will he confirm: (a) that 54.8 hectares of surplus land on this site was listed for sale by tender with Jones Lang LeSalle; and (b) that the closing date for tenders was Thursday 17 April 2008; and advise whether: (c) this land was sold; (d) the Commonwealth has any remaining interest in this land; and (e) the contract for sale included any conditions relating to the future use of the land.