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Notice given 8 October 2002

750  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) With reference to the statement, ‘Three more Indonesian boats apprehended in Australian waters’, issued by the Minister on 3 October 2002: What are the names of the 62 ‘illegal vessels’ apprehended in Australian waters since the beginning of 2002.

(2) In relation to each of these vessels: (a) on what date was it apprehended; (b) when was its illegal activity first detected or reported; (c) where was it captured; (d) which departments and/or agencies coordinated and conducted the operation; (e) where was the vessel registered and under which flag did it sail; (f) how many crew were on board; (g) what Australian port was the vessel brought to; (h) what criminal charges, if any, were laid against the crew, master, operator and/or owner of the vessel, and in what jurisdiction were these charges brought; (h) what was the outcome of these legal proceedings; (i) what civil action, if any, was taken against the crew, master, owner and/or operator of the vessel, and in what jurisdiction was this action taken; (j) what was the outcome of these legal proceedings; and (k) has the vessel, crew, master, operator and/or owner ever been the subject of a report, charge or conviction in relation to illegal fishing or other prohibited activity in Australian waters; if so, when did this report, charge or conviction occur and what action or outcome resulted.

(3) What are the names of the 27 vessels from which ‘catch and/or gear’ has been confiscated since the beginning of 2002.

(4) In relation to each of these vessels: (a) on what date was the catch and/or gear confiscated; (b) was catch, gear, or catch and gear confiscated; (c) what was the type and value of the confiscated catch; (d) when was its illegal activity first detected or reported; (e) where was the catch and/or gear confiscated; (f) which departments and/or agencies coordinated and conducted the operation; (f) where was the vessel registered and under which flag did it sail; (g) how many crew were on board; (h) was the vessel brought to an Australian port; if so, which port; (i) what criminal charges, if any, were laid against the crew, master, operator and/or owner of the vessel, and in what jurisdiction were these charges brought; (j) what was the outcome of these legal proceedings; (k) what civil action, if any, was taken against the crew, master, owner and/or operator of the vessel, and in what jurisdiction was this action taken; and (l) what was the outcome of these legal proceedings.

(5) When was the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Forum formed.

(6) On how many occasions has the matter of illegal fishing in Australian waters been discussed by the forum.

(7) On how many occasions has the Minister directly discussed with his Indonesian counterpart the matter of illegal fishing in Australian waters by vessels registered in Indonesia, crewed by Indonesians or using Indonesian ports as a base for illegal fishing operations in Australian waters.

751  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation—

(1) Which Commonwealth department or agency compiles data about illegal fishing in Australian waters.

(2) Since the beginning of 2002: (a) how many reports concerning alleged illegal fishing have been received; and (b) how many of these reports have been investigated.

(3) With respect to the Heard Island and McDonald Island (HIMI) Fishery, how many reports of alleged illegal fishing have been made since the beginning of 2002.

(4) With respect to each of these HIMI reports: (a) when was the report made; (b) who made the report and how was it made; (c) which Commonwealth department or agency received the report; (d) what flags were the vessels subject to investigation flying; (e) how was the report investigated; (f) what was the outcome of the investigation.

(5) If the investigation involved interception: (a) what was the name of the target vessel; (b) when and where did the interception occur; (c) which Commonwealth departments or agencies were involved in the interception; (d) which Australian aircraft and/or vessels were involved; and (e) what was the outcome of the interception.

(6) Did any vessel subject to interception fail to display a flag and/or vessel identification; if so, can details of these incidents be provided.

(7) Did any vessel subject to investigation and/or interception evade investigation and/or interception by refusing to respond to radio calls, provide requested information, change vessel course, permit Commonwealth officers to board or otherwise refuse to comply with lawful requests; if so, can details of these incidents be provided.

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

(1) When was the Commonwealth/state taskforce referred to in the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) guidelines, dated 13 July 2000, established.

(2) (a) What is the membership of that taskforce; (b) who appointed the taskforce members; and (c) on how many occasions has the taskforce met since it was established.

(3) (a) On how many occasions has the taskforce reported to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services; and (b) on how many occasions has the taskforce consulted with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, either directly or indirectly.

(4) (a) When did the taskforce commence its review of eligible regions at the end of the first year of the programme, referred to in the DRAP guidelines; (b) when was the review completed; and (c) when were the findings of the review provided to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services and the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

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

(1) Have all successful applications for assistance through the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) been initially assessed by state offices of the department in accordance with the administration procedures for the programme referred to in the programme guidelines; if not, why not.

(2) If some successful applications were not initially assessed by state officers of the department, in accordance with the published programme guidelines: (a) which applications were assessed in this manner; (b) when was each application assessed; (c) how was each application assessed; and (d) why were these applications not assessed in accordance with the programme guidelines.

(3) Were any successful applications referred directly to the department’s national office; if so: (a) which applications were referred directly to the national office; (b) when were they referred to the national office; and (c) why were they referred directly to the national office.

(4) Were all of the above successful applications then referred to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; if not: (a) which applications were not referred; and (b) in each case, why were these applications not referred.

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

(1) How many Area Consultative Councils (ACC) have applied directly for funding through the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP).

(2) In each case: (a) when the application was lodged; (b) what was the proposal for which the funding was sought; and (c) when was the funding approved.

(3) If any applications for funding by ACCs were rejected, in each case: (a) when was the application rejected; and (b) what was the basis for the rejection.

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

(1) In relation to the grant of some $214 172 under the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP), announced on 11 April 2001 in round three of the programme, to fund the employment of DRAP coordinators to be located in the Australia’s Holiday Coast, Hunter, Northern Rivers, Shoalhaven and South East New South Wales regions: in each case, when were the coordinators appointed.

(2) (a) What level of funding was provided to each of the above regions; and (b) for what period has the funding been provided.

(3) In relation to the above positions, in each case: (a) what evaluation process and performance indicators were included in each application; (b) what were the project outcomes identified by the applicant; and (c) what is the duration of each appointment.

756  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to questions on notice nos 503 and 504 (Senate Hansard , 25 September 2002, pp 4683-4):

(1) Can a copy of the details of the evaluation process included in the application for funding by Moruya Decking and Cladding Pty Limited for a steel profiling plant at Moruya, New South Wales, be provided.

(2) Has an independent evaluation of the project, against the project plan and the objectives and performance indicators contained within, now been conducted; if so: (a) who undertook the evaluation; (b) when did it commence; (c) when was it completed; and (d) who has assessed the findings of the evaluation.

(3) Did the proponent of this project provide monthly progress reports in accordance with section 1.17 of the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) guidelines for project proposals; if so, how many progress reports were lodged and when were they lodged; if not, why not.

(4) On how many occasions did officers from the state office of the department visit the above project in accordance with section 1.18 of the DRAP guidelines for project proposals.

(5) (a) Has the proponent submitted a completed evaluation form, including audited financial statements; if not, why not; and (b) what action has been taken to ensure the proponent complies with the DRAP.

(6) What evidence has the proponent of this project provided to the department that the project has been completed in the specified manner.

757  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice number 512 (Senate Hansard , 25 September 2002, p. 4688):

(1) What was the methodology applied by the proponent of the project funded through the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) in calculating the creation of 14 to 16 direct, full time equivalent jobs.

(2) Why was there no estimate of indirect jobs to be created by this project as required by section 1.10 of the document, Commonwealth Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (Dairy RAP) Information Guide to the Application for Funding .

758  Senator Sherry: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—With reference to Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audit report no. 65 tabled on 28 June 2002, Management of Commonwealth Superannuation Benefits to Members—Comsuper :

(1) Which Commonwealth agencies is the ANAO report referring to, in key finding 23 and paragraph 3.29, when it states that, ‘as at December 2001, some 30% of employers fail to provided employment details within 10 days of each payday’.

(2) Which Commonwealth agencies, if any, is the ANAO report referring to, in key finding 23, when it states that ‘ComSuper has experienced delays from some employers not providing compliant data for over 12 months’.

(3) In figure 3.10 the ANAO report lists four agencies (the Australian Customs Service and the Departments of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade and Veterans’ Affairs) that have experienced high rates of failure to report new members and/or changes in member contribution rates to ComSuper: (a) which other agencies, if any, have experienced comparable rates of reporting failure; and (b) what steps have been taken at an agency level to address these failures.

(4) Which agency is the ANAO report referring to when, in paragraph 3.10, it states ‘that, for 12 weeks in 1999-2000, one agency failed to forward to ComSuper on time the payments for member contributions, productivity contributions, additional cover, and employer liability’ and that ‘ComSuper charged the agency $75 736 [in] penalty interest’.

(5) In paragraphs 4.15 and 4.17 the ANAO report notes that, in ‘June 2001, some 43% of benefit applications were pending, due to either benefit application problems or problems with the member’s record’: (a) what proportion of these pending applications was a result of problems with members’ records; (b) how many benefit applications are currently pending; (c) what proportion of total benefit applications does this represent; (d) what proportion of the current set of pending applications is a result of problems with the members’ records; and (e) what was the average time that benefit applications spent pending in 2001-02.

760  Senator Sherry: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audit report no. 65 tabled on 28 June 2002, Management of Commonwealth Superannuation Benefits to Members—Comsuper :

(1) In figure 3.10 the ANAO report states that 35 per cent of new members in the Department of Defence were not reported to ComSuper in the period from 1 July 2001 to 1 October 2001: Does this figure include members of the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme and the Military Superannuation and Benefit Scheme.

(2) What steps has Defence taken to ensure that new members are reported to ComSuper in a more timely manner.

(3) In each of the quarters after 1 October 2001, what proportions of new members in Defence were not reported to ComSuper.

(4) In key finding 25 and in paragraphs 3.42 and 3.45 the ANAO report states that ‘the Department of Defence (Defence) did not report up to 81% of changes in member contribution rates to ComSuper in 2000-01’: Does this figure include members of both the civilian and the military superannuation schemes.

(5) What steps has Defence taken to ensure that changes in member contribution rates are reported to ComSuper in a more timely manner.

(6) In the year starting 1 July 2001, what proportion of changes in member contribution rates was not reported to ComSuper.

763  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the Government’s announcement on 26 September 2002 that it has reallocated 1 600 outside school hour child care places: By local government area and by federal electorate: (a) where did these places come from; and (b) where have these places been re-allocated to.