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Notice given 12 June 2002

352  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Did any investigation result from a Qantas flight that departed Launceston on 23 October 2001; if so: (a) when did the investigation commence; (b) who undertook the investigation; (c) when was the investigation completed; and (d) what was the result of the investigation.

(2) Were the findings of that investigation referred to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority General Counsel; if so: (a) why was the matter referred to the General Counsel; and (b) what was the result of the General Counsel’s consideration of the matter.

353  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Does the Civil Aviation Safety Authority have a code of conduct in place for staff.

(2) (a) Who developed the code; and (b) when was it put in place.

(3) On how many occasions has this code been amended since it was first put in place.

(4) Does the code include a process for a review or investigation of possible breaches of its provisions; if so, what is that process.

354  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Who is the officer in the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) designated as the decision-maker in relation to breaches by staff of the CASA staff Code of Conduct.

(2) What is the appeal process in relation to findings of breaches of the code.

(3) Since January 2000, how many investigations have there been of alleged breaches of the code.

(4) In general terms, what was the nature of each alleged breach.

(5) In each case: (a) what was the date of the alleged breach; (b) what was the date on which the investigation was initiated; (c) who undertook the investigation; (d) what was the result of the investigation; and (e) was there any formal, or informal, appeal or request for review in response to the recommendation or finding that flowed from each investigation.

(6) In relation to all of the above investigations: (a) on how many occasions was internal legal advice sought; (b) why was that advice sought; and (c) what action followed the provision of that advice.

(7) In relation to all of the above investigations: (a) on how many occasions was external legal or other professional advice sought; (b) why was that advice sought; and (c) what action followed the provision of that advice.

(8) Where external legal or other professional advice was sought: (a) who provided that advice; and (b) in each case, what was the cost of providing that advice.

355  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Where there has been an investigation into a breach of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority staff Code of Conduct, since January 2000, on how many occasions have staff sought external legal advice.

(2) In each case, who met the cost of the provision of that legal advice.

356  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Does the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) staff Code of Conduct address the issue of senior officers organising meetings of CASA staff at the homes of senior officers; if so, what rules are in place in relation to the holding of such meetings.

(2) Since January 2000, on how many occasions has there been an investigation or inquiry into the appropriateness of senior officers holding meetings of CASA officers at the homes of senior officers.

357  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Does the Civil Aviation Safety Authority staff Code of Conduct require the recognition of the chain of command in the reporting of a possible breach of the code; if so, are there any exemptions from the requirement that the chain of command be observed in reporting possible breaches of the code.

(2) If the code does not require the recognition of the chain of command in the reporting of a possible breach of the code, what rules apply in relation to the reporting of a possible breach of the code.

358  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Was the incident referred to during the estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee on 30 May 2002 ( Hansard , p. 331), reported through the proper chain of command within the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

(2) Given that the incident under investigation occurred in the Sydney Airline Office, would the head of the compliance division of CASA have been the officer directly responsible for overseeing the investigation.

(3) If the incident was not reported through the chain of command: (a) how was the incident reported; and (b) to whom was the incident reported.

(4) In the first instance, was the incident reported to the CASA Director directly or the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission.

(5) Did a meeting take place in the office of the Deputy Director to discuss this matter on 4 September 2001.

359  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Is there currently an investigation into an alleged breach of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority staff Code of Conduct in addition to the inquiry referred to during the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee estimates hearings of 30 May 2002 ( Hansard p. 331); if so, is the same process of investigation being applied in relation to this matter as has been followed in relation to the Sydney Airline Office investigation; if not: (a) how is this investigation varying from the investigation into the Sydney Airline Office incident; and (b) what are the reasons for the different approach being taken.

(2) Was this second incident the subject of a meeting in the office of the Deputy Director on 4 September 2001.

(3) During that meeting were formal written complaints, or drafts of formal written complaints, relating to this matter provided to the Deputy Director or any other senior officer who attended that meeting.

(4) If these documents were provided to an officer other than the Deputy Director, who was that officer.

(5) What action followed in relation to the written complaints.

360  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) In relation to any investigation into an alleged breach of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority staff Code of Conduct in addition to the inquiry referred to during the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee estimates hearings of 30 May 2002 ( Hansard p.331), was there a meeting in the office of the Deputy Director to discuss this investigation in the office of the Executive Officer Corporate Services Division on 28 September 2001.

(2) Was the purpose of that meeting to discuss how best to deal with the investigation.

(3) At that meeting did the Executive Officer Corporate Services Division direct, or request, that draft letters of complaint in relation to the investigation that had been provided to the Deputy Director or another senior officer at a meeting to discuss this matter on 4 September 2001 be shredded; if so: (a) what was the basis for the direction, or request, to shred these documents; and (b) were the documents detailing the complaint that was the subject of this investigation actually shredded.

361  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) In relation to any investigation into an alleged breach of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority staff Code of Conduct, in addition to the inquiry referred to during the Rural and Regional Affairs Committee estimates hearings of 30 May 2002 ( Hansard p.331), was there a meeting in the office of the Director to discuss issues related to this investigation.

(2) Did these discussions go to the role of the Director, specifically to statements made by the Director, or allegedly made by the Director, in relation to certain matters associated with the investigation.

(3) When did that meeting take place.

362  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Which Australian airports are international airports.

(2) Which airports in Australia receive flights directly from South Korea.

363  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What are the current achieved x-ray scanning rates of baggage and parcels for quarantine purposes at Australian international airports.

(2) What are the current achieved rates of searching passengers and their belongings for quarantine purposes at Australian international airports.

(3) What are the current achieved x-ray scanning rates of baggage and parcels for quarantine purposes at Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea.

(4) What are the current achieved rates of searching passengers and their belongings for quarantine purposes at Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea.

(5) What are the target x-ray rates for scanning of baggage and parcels for quarantine purposes at Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea.

(6) What are the target rates for searching passengers and their belongings for quarantine purposes at Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea.

(7) By what date were each of the above targets to be achieved (and were they so achieved) for: (a) Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea; and (b) all other Australian international airports.

(8) What is the current number of Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) staff at each Australian international airport.

(9) What is the current number of AQIS staff at each Australian international airport which receives flights directly from South Korea.

(10) What is the projected number of AQIS staff at each Australian international airport for the period of 15 July 2002 to 31 July 2002.

(11) What number of AQIS staff would be required at each Australian international airport to achieve a rate of 100 per cent for searching passengers and their belongings for quarantine purposes.

(12) What other sections or divisions within AQIS would need to provide resources (both human and materiel) to Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea to achieve a rate of 100 per cent for searching of passengers and their belongings for quarantine purposes.

(13) Which Australian international airports will have the number of AQIS staff reduced during the period 15 June 2002 to 15 August 2002 to ensure that Australian international airports which receive flights directly from South Korea achieve a rate of 100 per cent for searching of passengers and their belongings for quarantine purposes.

364  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What has been the total value of Australian red meat exports, by year, over the past 5 financial years.

(2) When did the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) first become aware of the problem of apparent organised crime involvement in the trade of contaminated meat being sold under forged Australian quarantine seals and health certificates.

(3) When did the Minister first become aware of the problem of apparent organised crime involvement in the trade of contaminated meat being sold under forged Australian quarantine seals and health certificates.

(4) What is the extent of the problem in terms of: (a) metric tonnage sold in this manner globally per annum; and (b) the damage, in Australian dollars per annum, done to the Australian meat export industry by way of lost sales.

(5) What action has been taken to date by AQIS to combat the trade of contaminated meat being sold under forged Australian quarantine seals and health certificates.

(6) What action has been taken to date by the Minister in relation to the trade of contaminated meat being sold under forged Australian quarantine seals and health certificates.

(7) Besides the AQIS Investigation Branch, what other Commonwealth agencies are involved in this investigation.

(8) What is the particular role of each Commonwealth agency in this investigation.

(9) How are the various Commonwealth agencies involved in the investigation are being coordinated to ensure that the investigation is most effective.

(10) What agencies from other nations is the Commonwealth working with to combat the trade of contaminated meat being sold under forged Australian quarantine seals and health certificates.

(11) What is the quantum of funding the Government has committed to combating this illegal trade for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 financial years.

(12) How much of this funding is being allocated to agencies from other nations with which the Commonwealth is working to combat this illegal trade.

(13) What are the current penalties for persons convicted of trading in contaminated meat sold under forged Australian quarantine seals and health certificates.

(14) Have these penalties been amended since 30 June 1998; if so: (a) when; and (b) what are the nature of the changes to these penalties.

365  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What is the number of veterinarians currently practising in Australia.

(2) How many of the total fit into the following age group cohorts: (a) 20-29 years of age; (b) 30-39 years of age; (c) 40-49 years of age; (d) 50-59 years of age; and (e) 60-69 years of age.

(3) What number in each age group cohort are women.

(4) What is the number of veterinarians currently practicing in rural and regional Australia (that is, outside the official city boundaries of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide).

(5) How many of the total of veterinarians currently practicing in rural and regional Australia fit into the following age group cohorts: (a) 20-29 years of age; (b) 30-39 years of age; (c) 40-49 years of age; (d) 50-59 years of age; and (e) 60-69 years of age.

(6) What number of veterinarians currently practicing in rural and regional Australia in each age group cohort are women.

(7) Following the Government’s budget announcement to provide five scholarships to veterinary students through the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, can the Minister advise: (a) what is the progress of stakeholder consultation; (b) who in terms of individuals and interest groups have been consulted; (c) who in terms of individuals and interest groups remains to be consulted; and (d) for those who remain to be consulted, what is the target date for completing this consultation process.