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Notice given 19 August 2002

555  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—

(1) How many Centrelink benefit recipients have declared Centrelink as a creditor in bankruptcy proceedings for each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years.

(2) How many of these were rejected as they were considered to be a debt accrued through intentional fraud.

(3) (a) Can the department provide breakdown of the benefits claimed that were determined to be fraudulent; and (b) what was the total cost to the Commonwealth of these benefits for each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years.

(4) (a) How does the department determine that a debt has been accrued through intentional fraud; and (b) can examples be provided to illustrate the process.

556  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1) (a) What criteria does the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia utilise in determining which Part X creditors meetings are attended by Bankruptcy Regulation Officers; and (b) can a copy of the criteria be provided.

(2) What remedial action was required as a result of Bankruptcy Regulation Officers attending creditors meetings: (a) in the 1999-2000 financial year; (b) in the 2000-01 financial year; and (c) between July 2001 and April 2002.

557  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—

(1) Can the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia supply figures that detail the number of debt agreements that resulted in bankruptcy in each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; and (b) 2001-02.

(2) Do the creditors have to give reasons for rejecting the debt agreements; if so, what are the allowable criteria.

(3) Can the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia provide details of which major industries have rejected debt agreement proposals for each of the following financial years: (a) 2000-01; and (b) 2001-02.

(4) With reference to the figures in Table 29 of the Part IX Agreements which show that, of the 2 240 debt agreements accepted by the Official Trustee for processing, 1 234 were accepted by creditors and 597 were rejected: (a) what happened to the other 409 applications; and (b) given that of the 1 292 accepted by the Official Trustee in Western Australia only 653 were accepted: (i) why; and (ii) what happened to the other 272 applications.

(5) With reference to section 185 which allows for variation of the debt agreement: in how many cases do the creditors propose an increase in the debt repayment.

558  Senator Harris: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—Can copies of the following documents be provided:

(a) Mission Beach Local Marine Advisory Committee (LMAC) minutes for the years 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002;

(b) the list of invitees to LMAC, and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) meetings and social functions for the years 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002;

(c) GBRMPA Board agenda and minutes from July 2001 to date;

(d) recommendations and papers from the LMAC and the GBRMPA relating to the proposed Mission Beach trawl closure;

(e) the formal consultation process undertaken in relation to the proposed Mission Beach trawl closure; and

(f) all correspondence, faxes, e-mails and ministerial briefing papers between the LMAC, the GBRMPA and the Minister and his staff relating to the proposed Mission Beach trawl closure.

559  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) What mechanism is in place for consultation with the community prior to the listing of threatened species and ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 .

(2) What changes have occurred to that mechanism for consultation in each of the following financial years: (a) 2001-02; and (b) 2002-03.

(3) (a) When did the ‘new arrangements’ for consultation with the National Farmers’ Federation, advised by the Minister in his speech to AgForce 2002, come into effect; and (b) what are these new arrangements.

(4) Do these arrangements include the provision of funding for a full-time position based at the National Farmers’ Federation; if so: (a) what costs of employment, including related costs, are funded by the Commonwealth; and (b) for what period.

(5) (a) What arrangements are in place to consult with other rural groups and industry organisations prior to the listing of threatened species and ecological communities under the Act; and (b) if no arrangements are in place with other rural groups and industry organisations, why not.

(6) Will the Commonwealth fund employment positions at rural groups and industry organisations other than the National Farmers’ Federation for the purpose of enhancing industry consultation relating to the Act.

(7) What arrangements are in place to consult with environmental groups prior to the listing of threatened species and ecological communities under the Act; if no arrangements are in place with environmental groups, why not.

(8) Will the Commonwealth fund employment positions at environmental organisations for the purpose of enhancing community consultation relating to the Act.

560  Senator Sherry: To ask the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer—With reference to the Minister’s announcement on 2 July 2002 relating to financial assistance to the Australian Independent Superannuation Fund (AISF):

(1) When was the application for assistance under Part 229 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 lodged with the Assistant Treasurer or her predecessor, the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation.

(2) When did the theft, as outlined in the Assistant Treasurer’s media release, occur.

(3) For the purpose of granting financial assistance under section 231 of the Act, what did the Assistant Treasurer determine the total ‘eligible loss’ suffered by the AISF to be.

(4) (a) What was the name of the trustee director imprisoned for theft; and (b) when did this conviction occur.

(5) Was the AISF a ‘public offer superannuation fund’ as defined by section 18 of the Act.

(6) Did Broadway Fiduciary receive any payment as trustee of the AISF.

(7) Was Broadway Fiduciary an ‘approved trustee’ under Part 2 of the Act; if so, did Broadway Fiduciary meet the capital requirement under section 26 of the Act; if Broadway Fiduciary did not meet this requirement, when did the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) become aware that this was the case.

(8) Did Broadway Fiduciary meet the equal representation requirements under Part 9 of the Act; if not, when did APRA first become aware of this.

(9) (a) Under what circumstances did the 160 members of the AISF who suffered losses as a result of theft become members of the fund; (b) did members chose to make rollovers or personal contributions to the AISF; (c) did members chose the AISF as the destination for employer contributions or did their employers make contributions to the AISF under an award, industrial agreement or contract; and (d) who, if anyone, were the employer sponsors of AISF.

(10) When did APRA first become aware that the AISF had suffered a loss as a result of theft.

(11) (a) Did APRA remove Broadway Fiduciary as trustee of the AISF under section 133 of the Act; and (b) did APRA appoint Denara as ‘acting trustee’ under section 134 of the Act; if so: (i) what process did APRA use to select the replacement trustee, and (ii) what conditions, if any, did APRA impose on the acting trustee under section 135 of the Act; if not, under what circumstances was Broadway Fiduciary replaced as trustee.

(12) Is Denara receiving any payment as acting trustee of the AISF; if so, was any of this payment included in the eligible loss for the purpose of financial assistance under Part 23 of the Act.

561  Senator Sherry: To ask the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer—With reference to superannuation funds for which Commercial Nominees of Australia Pty Limited (CNAL) was trustee:

(1) What are the current assets of the following superannuation funds: (a) the Australian Workforce Eligible Rollover Fund (AWERF); (b) the Network Superannuation Fund; and (c) the Midas Super Fund.

(2) What are the losses estimated to have occurred in these funds prior to the replacement of CNAL as trustee in December 2000: (a) as a result of exposure to the Enhanced Cash Management Trust (ECMT); and (b) as a result of exposure to the Enhanced Equity Fund (EEF).

(3) (a) How many members did each of these funds have; and (b) how many members of these funds are estimated to have been affected by these losses.

(4) What was the: (a) minimum; (b) maximum; and (c) average, loss incurred by these members.

(5) With reference to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) submission 225 to the then Senate Select Committee on Superannuation and Financial Services dated 13 July 2001, which indicates that losses incurred through the ECMT and EEF affected many but not all of the members of the AWERF: Why was this the case.

(6) (a) What losses have occurred in each of the three funds since the replacement of CNAL as trustee; (b) how many members of these funds are estimated to have been affected by these losses; and (c) what is the: (i) minimum, (ii) maximum, and (iii) average, loss incurred by these members.

(7) On what basis have Oak Breeze, as replacement trustee of the AWERF, and ACT Super Management, as replacement trustee of the Network Superannuation Fund and the Midas Super Fund, debited fees against member accounts; (b) what is the total value of the fees charged by the trustees of each fund; and (c) what is the: (i) minimum, (ii) maximum, and (iii) average, fee incurred by members of these funds thus far.

(8) Have Oak Breeze and ACT Super Management fulfilled their reporting obligations, under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 and Regulations, to members of the respective funds; if not, has any action been taken to ensure they comply with these requirements.

(9) Have APRA, Oak Breeze, ACT Super Management or any other parties undertaken an investigation of whether ‘fraudulent conduct or theft’, within the meaning of Part 23 of the Act, has occurred in relation to any of these funds and their investments in the EEF and the ECMT.

(10) Have Oak Breeze or ACT Super Management made, or indicated that they intend to make, an application for financial assistance under section 229 of the Act in relation to any of these three superannuation funds; if not, why not.

562  Senator Sherry: To ask the Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer—With reference to the Freedom of Choice Monthly Income Pool (MIP):

(1) With reference to correspondence to Senator Sherry, dated 9 August 2002, in which the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) stated that MIP funds were not invested in the Commercial Nominees of Australia Pty Limited (CNAL) Enhanced Cash Management Trust but in the Enhanced Income Trust (EIT): (a) was CNAL at any stage the trustee of the EIT; if so, when did CNAL cease to be the trustee of the EIT; (b) was this a result of being replaced as trustee by APRA or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and (c) who is the replacement trustee of the EIT.

(2) (a) What steps have APRA, Perpetual or Australian Unity Funds Management taken to ascertain whether ‘fraudulent conduct or theft’, within the meaning of Part 23 of the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 , occurred in relation to investments by the MIP in the EIT; and (b) have APRA, for example, appointed an inspector to the MIP and/or the EIT.

563  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Can a summary of the activities undertaken by the Fremantle Class Patrol Boat (FCPB) fleet be provided for each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years, including the following information: (a) how many days each of the FCPBs and/or the fleet as a whole spent on seagoing days; (b) of those seagoing days, how many days were spent on activities tasked by Coastwatch; (c) with reference to seagoing days of the FCPBs not spent on civil surveillance patrols, specify (as a proportion of the fleet) what activities they were engaged in and for how many days (eg. in the 2001-02 financial year, 20 per cent of the seagoing days of the total fleet, not including days tasked by Coastwatch, might have been spent doing military training exercises); (d) of the days any or all of the FCPBs were not at sea, what use was made of them (eg. work-up or evaluation periods, port visits, maintenance and leave periods, etc); and (e) with reference to their use on non-seagoing days, can a breakdown be provided of how many days the FCPBs (or a proportion of the fleet) spent in each different use.

(2) (a) In what Australian Defence Force exercises did the FCPBs participate in each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years; and (b) can the following information be provided: (i) how many boats, or what proportion of the fleet, participated in these exercises, (ii) the number of days they did so, and (iii) which of these days were international, joint or single service exercises.

(Note: The question does not seek information that would prejudice operational security, ie. information regarding where particular FCPBs have been used or when, but on use patterns of the fleet. The tender documents for the replacement patrol boats included a summary of the activities of three individual FCPBs over a year.)

(3) What are the costs associated with the following aspects of the FCPBs: (a) initial value (ie. purchase price paid for each FCPB); (b) average annual maintenance casts for each boat in each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years (include any automatic payments made to contractor for ongoing maintenance, as well as additional costs for any irregular or extra repairs that have been needed); (c) average daily running costs (on a seagoing day); and (d) average daily crew costs (ie. a breakdown of salary, on-costs, training etc.)

(4) What is the patrol range of an FCPB.

(5) Please describe what sea state the FCPB fleet: (a) usually operates in; and (b) is capable of operating in, and what this means in layman’s terms.

(6) Can the Minister confirm that the FCPBs are not capable of operating in all parts of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (FEZ).

(7) Please describe in general terms where the parts referred to in (5) are (eg. Torres Strait, Heard and Macdonald Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory etc).

(8) When were the last three occasions (or the month) in which any of the FCPBs conducted civil surveillance patrol south of Geraldton.

(9) Has Defence reached any agreement with Coastwatch on P3-C Orion use that includes documented criteria for their use.

(10) How many flying hours were provided to Coastwatch by Royal Australian Air Force in each of the 2000-0l and 2001-02 financial years.

(11) Were all of these hours provided by Orions; if not, please specify what other aircraft have contributed.

(12) How many hours does an average civil surveillance patrol by an Orion take.

(13) What is the total full cost per hour of using an Orion for civil surveillance.

(14) What is the southern-most point the Orions operate to in civil surveillance patrols. (ie. the most southern latitude that they fly to.)

(15) Has Defence given any consideration to entering into formal arrangements with Coastwatch on training, certification or exchange of staff involved in air activities; if not, why not; if so: (a) have any arrangements been agreed to in principle, or made; and (b) can details be provided of the progress made to this point.

(16) For how many hours in total did the Orion fleet collectively fly in the 2000-01 and 2001-02 Financial years.

564  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) In relation to the activity of the fleet of Bay Class Vessels (BCVs), for each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years: (a) how many seagoing days were achieved; (b) how many days maintenance were required to keep the fleet operational; and (c) what was the target for seagoing days for the fleet.

(2) Can information be provided of the costs associated with the following aspects of the BCVs: (a) initial value (ie. purchase price paid for each BCV); (b) average annual maintenance costs since introduction (include any automatic payments made to contractor for ongoing maintenance, as well as additional costs for any irregular or extra repairs that have been needed); (c) daily running costs (on a seagoing day); and (d) daily crew costs (ie. a breakdown of salary, on-costs, training etc.)

(3) Please describe what sea state the BCV fleet: (a) usually operates in; and (b) is capable of operating in, and what this description means in practical terms.

(4) Can the Minister confirm that the BCVs are not capable of operating in all parts of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and describe in general terms where these parts are (eg. Torres Strait, Heard and Macdonald Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory etc.).

(5) Other than the BCVs, does Customs loan any assets to Coastwatch, or have assets that are tasked by Coastwatch (eg. outboards or smaller vessels).

(6) In relation to Coastwatch, can the following information be provided for each of the 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years: (a) the number of vessels intercepted; and (b) the number of vessels apprehended (including an indications of the illegal activity suspected).

(7) In each of the 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years how many times was a suspected illegal vessel sighted by aerial surveillance in circumstances in which there were not the resources available to intercept the vessel.

(8) (a) How many flying hours in total did Coastwatch undertake (ie. task) in each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years; and (b) of these, in each financial year, how many were provided by Defence.

(9) Do any of the civil aircraft used by Coastwatch have: (a) radar equipment; and (b) any specialist patrolling or surveillance capability; if the answer to (b) is yes, describe briefly what this capability is, if the answer to either (a) or (b) is yes, how does the capability differ from that of P3-C Orions.

(10) Can a list be provided of: (a) the contractors, if any, that provided seagoing vessels to Coastwatch in each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years; (b) how many hours each was contracted to supply; and (c) how much Customs paid under the contract.

(11) In relation to Coastwatch’s relationship with relevant state and territory agencies, what formal arrangements are in place to ensure the timely communication of information.

(12) What is Surveillance Australia’s annual average for staff turnover for each of the financial years since 1995-96, to the end of the 2001-02 financial year.

(13) When was the last revised performance measurement system for contractors used by Coastwatch implemented.

565  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Forestry and Conservation—

(1) What are the terms on which the Australian Fisheries Management Authority charters the Southern Supporter , including the following details: (a) how many patrols the vessel is contracted to operate annually; (b) how lengthy the patrols are (ie. number of seagoing days); (c) the value of the contract (ie. what the Commonwealth pays for this service); (d) whether there are any performance measures for provision of the service (eg. number of suspected illegal vessels apprehended etc.); and (e) whether there are any penalties if the Southern Supporter cannot, for any reason, patrol for as many seagoing days as it is supposed to.

(2) What was the total number of seagoing days of the Southern Supporter for each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years.

(3) Can the following details be provided in relation to the Southern Supporter for each of the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial years: (a) the number of vessels intercepted; (b) how many were suspected of illegally fishing in Australian waters; (c) how many vessels were boarded or searched; (d) how many were apprehended; and (e) how many had their fishing equipment and catch seized.

(4) Can a physical description of the Southern Supporter , including the capabilities and the following details, be provided: (a) the length of the vessel; (b) crew size; (c) how many people beyond the crew can be accommodated and carried; (d) ability of the crew to board another vessel; (e) whether the vessel carries any inflatable boats or dinghies for the propose of rescue or apprehension operations; (f) whether the vessel can carry a helicopter; if so, whether it usually does on patrols; and (g) patrol range of the vessel.

(5) Is the vessel capable of operating across the entire Southern Ocean; if not, what are its geographic limits.

(6) Are there any plans to continue the funding of the Southern Supporter beyond 2003; if not, are there plans to hire or lease other vessels for patrolling the Southern Ocean and the Australian Antarctic Territory.

(7) Has there been any evaluation done of the contract for the Southern Supporter ; if so, what were the results.

566  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—

(1) Has the Aurora Australis been used in any civil surveillance operations; if so, what use was made of the ship, and in what month was the ship used.

(2) Is there any arrangement, formal or otherwise, between the Australian Antarctic Division and Customs, Coastwatch or Defence for the patrol or surveillance capabilities of the Aurora Australis to be used; if so, can details of the arrangements be provided.

(3) Have any of the other vessels or helicopters chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division been tasked by Coastwatch, or used in any way, as part of Australian civil surveillance operations; if so, can the following information be provided: (a) the dates; (b) the type of vessels and helicopters; and (c) the nature of the support supplied.