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3 February 2009

555  MR TRUSS: To ask the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government—

(1) Does he agree with the Australian Road Assessment Program that the Cooroy to Gympie section of the Bruce Highway is the worst part of the national highway in Queensland (QLD) ( Safer Roads Save Lives: Star Ratings For Queensland Country Highways, April 2008, pages 14-6).

(2) Is he aware that the QLD Government has decided to impose a 90 kilometre per hour speed limit on a large part of this section of the Bruce Highway.

(3) What is the Australian Government’s target date for completing the four-laning of the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra.

(4) What funding will be provided for this project in the: (a) 2009-10; (b) 2010-11; (c) 2011-12; (d) 2012-13; (e) 2013-14; and (f) 2014-15; financial years.

(5) What is the estimated total cost of four-laning the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra.

556  MR TRUSS: To ask the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government—In respect of the Enroute Charges Rebate Scheme: (a) has the Government decided to axe the Scheme from June 2012; (b) will the Scheme only apply to existing routes and service frequencies from 1 July 2008; (c) will the Scheme be available to (i) an operator resuming a service suspended for a time due to factors like pilot shortage, (ii) an operator running an existing route but with reduced frequencies, and (iii) a new operator taking up a service withdrawn by another that was previously in receipt of the Scheme; and (d) what studies have been conducted by the Government to assess the impact upon regional air services of the decision to cut the Scheme.

557  MRS MIRABELLA: To ask the Minister for Education—

(1)  Does she agree that reliable, accurate data on national child care vacancy rates is essential for planning the future location of child care centres; if so, why.

(2) What data has the Government used to determine the most appropriate locations for its investment in building the first 38 of 260 planned child care centres in priority areas.

(3) Is she aware of the importance to the child care industry of having access to figures on supply and demand of child care services by region in order to plan for its future needs.

(4) Are child care centres across Australia required to report their vacancy rates to the Government every week; if so, have these figures been publicly released since November 2007; if these figures have not been released since November 2007, (a) why not, and (b) how can child care organisations make informed expressions of interest for the Government’s proposed child care centres.

558  MRS MIRABELLA: To ask the Minister for Education—In respect of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 2008 Survey of Child Care Services (Pre-Survey Information Sheet): (a) in Section A, why are children up to three years of age combined under one category when in the same survey in 2006, they were split across three separate categories by age group (ie, (i) one, (ii) one to two, and (iii) two to three, years of age); and (b) why has a similar re-categorisation also occurred for children in the age group of three to six years.

559  MRS MIRABELLA: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education—In respect of allegations that some parents have been claiming thousands of dollars on the child care tax rebate for long day child care services despite not having paid their fees, and when services are withdrawn, continuing this practice at another child care centre—

(1)  Is the Minister aware of such newspaper reports.

(2) What is the Government doing to ensure parents cannot fraudulently claim the 50 per cent child care tax rebate.

(3) Is it correct that proof of payment of child care fees is not required by Centrelink in order for the 50 per cent tax rebate to be claimed; if so, why.

(4) Is it correct that proof of enrolment at a child care centre is all that is required by Centrelink for the 50 per cent rebate to be claimed; if so, why.

(5)  What investigations will the Minister undertake to prevent such fraud; if no investigations will be undertaken, why not.

(6) What sum of money does she estimate such practices are costing the taxpayer.

MR SECKER: To ask the Ministers listed below (questions Nos. 560 - 562)—Will the Minister commission an Environmental Impact Statement for South Australia’s proposed introduction of seawater into the Lower Lakes of the River Murray.

560  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

561  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

562  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

MR SECKER: To ask the Ministers listed below (questions Nos. 563 - 565)—

(1) Is t he Minister aware that: (a) increases in salinity levels have killed fish species and detrimentally impacted on the three turtle species in Lake Bonney in South Australia; and (b) in June 2008, in an effort to manage the problem, the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board recommended that Lake Bonney be provided a water allocation of up to 20 gigalitres during 2008-09.

(2) Given only 10 gigalitres have been provided to Lake Bonney, will the Minister commit to providing ano ther 10 gigalitres; if so, when; if not, why not.

563  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Water.

564  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Water.

565  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Water.

MR SECKER: To ask the Ministers listed below (questions Nos. 566 - 568)—Given the Lower Lakes of South Australia (SA) are subject to a Ramsar Agreement, will the Minister ensure an Environmental Impact Assessment is undertaken in respect of the proposed construction of a weir at or near Wellington in SA.

566  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

567  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

568  MR SECKER: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

569   MR MORRISON: To ask the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government—Will he rule out the construction of a second Sydney Airport at Kurnell, on the basis that a second airport has been ruled out for Badgerys Creek.

571   MR PRICE: To ask the Minister representing the Special Minister of State—

(1)  In respect of the electoral division of Chifley in the lead up to the 2007 Federal Election: (a) did the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) undertake to reduce the number of Aboriginals who were not enrolled to vote; (b) what action was taken by the New South Wales administration of the AEC to enrol Aboriginals to vote; and (c) what was the most successful initiative and how many Aboriginal were enrolled to vote as a result.

(2) In respect of the electoral division of Chifley: (a) is the AEC satisfied with the number of Aboriginals currently enrolled to vote; (b) what are the AEC estimates for the number or percentage of Aboriginals who are not enrolled to vote; (c) what lessons have been learnt from the 2007 Federal Election regarding attempts to increase the number of Aboriginals enrolled to vote; and (d) what plans exist to increase the number of Aboriginals enrolled to vote.

572   MR TRUSS: To ask the Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy—In respect of the Government’s decision to replace the small business field officer network with a $42 million program to fund 36 Business Enterprise Centres: which Business Enterprise Centre has been funded to service the federal electorate of Wide Bay.

573   MR SCOTT: To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1)  With the establishment of Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) under the Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008 , how many wheat export licences have been issued since 1 July 2008.

(2) As exporters wanting to export bulk wheat must now be accredited by WEA, (a) what companies have been accredited and issued with licences to export bulk wheat from Australia, and (b) are there any exemptions.

(3)  What approved tonnages do the licences cover, and are there any limitations.

(4) To which nations is the bulk wheat being exported.

(5) Which export terminals do the bulk wheat licences cover.

(6) What licences cover non-bulk wheat exportation, and are there any exemptions or limitations.

574   MR GEORGIOU: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs—When will the Government decide whether or not it will remove the restriction on Australian foreign aid being spent on abortion services and training under the Australian Agency for International Development’s Family Planning and the Aid Program: A Comprehensive Guide .

575   MR TUCKEY: To ask the Minister for Finance and Deregulation—From the financial year 1982-83 to 3 February 2009: what total sum of payments from the Commonwealth, including its agencies and recipient bodies, has been made to Mr Mick Dodson or any corporation or entity of which he is a member.