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Notice given 17 January 2003

1087  Senator Webber: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing—Given the considerable disadvantage faced by small rural and remote communities when taking up new aged-care bed licences, will the Government give consideration to: (a) allowing those community organisations to accumulate average Commonwealth nursing home benefit payments to be used as a capital source for the building of new facilities; (b) the establishment of a capital fund to provide low-interest loans to rural and remote communities for the purpose of building and operating community run residential facilities; (c) providing these communities with a Commonwealth guarantee to enable them to apply for commercial loans; and (d) allowing the co-location of these facilities with local hospitals to assist with establishment and running costs.

1088  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 945 advising that questions about the performance pay arrangements for secretaries, including reporting of performance pay, should be directed to the Prime Minister:

(1) In relation to the payment of a performance bonus to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: what was the quantum of the bonus, if any, in each of the following financial years: (a) 1999-2000 (b) 2000-01; and (c) 2001-02.

(2) If a performance bonus was paid to the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2001-02: (a) why is the quantum of the bonus not divulged in the Department for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s annual report for 2001-02; (b) what performance criteria were used; (c) who assessed the Secretary’s performance against the criteria; (d) who was the decision-maker; and (e) what role did the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or his office have in relation to the payment.

1089  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) How many projects through the Dairy Regional Assistance Programme (DRAP) have been funded in the electorate of Page.

(2) When was each project application lodged with the Northern Rivers Area Consultative Committee.

(3) When was the application for funding lodged with the department and when was each application assessed and approved.

(4) Was the Member for Page or his electorate office informed by the Northern Rivers Area Consultative Committee of the details of the application.

(5) Did the Member for Page or his electorate office make representations in support of the application.

(6) Was the Member for Page or his electorate office consulted on the details of the application.

(7) Was the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and/or his office: (a) advised of the lodgement of the application and/or consulted on the details of the application; and (b) informed of the outcome of the assessment; if so, when was this information provided.

(8) Which individual or organisation lodged the application.

(9) What was the level of funding sought, and what level of funding was approved.

(10) What was the total cost of the proposed project.

(11) Did the applicant agree to meet 50 per cent of the cost of the project.

(12) Did the application contain proposed assessment criteria for evaluation; if so, what are the details of the assessment criteria.

(13) Has the project been evaluated; if so: (a) who conducted the evaluation; (b) when did it occur; and (c) what are its findings; if not, why not.

(14) Has the project failed to meet the milestones contained in its project plan; if so: (a) what is the nature of the failure; and (b) what action has been taken by the department to address the failure of the project to meet the terms of its project plan.

(15) If the application did not contain proposed assessment criteria, why not.

(16) Was the application varied between lodgement and approval; if so: (a) what was the nature of the variation; (b) was the variation required to ensure the proposal complied with the program guidelines; (c) who requested the variation; and (d) when was it requested.

(17) Has the project commenced; if so, when did it commence and did it commence on schedule; if not, why not.

(18) Has the project been completed; if so, when was it completed and was it completed on schedule; if not, why not.

(19) (a) If the project has been completed, has the proponent submitted a completed evaluation form including audited financial statements; if not, why not; and (b) what action has been taken by the department to ensure the proponent of the project complies with DRAP guidelines.

(20) How many direct and indirect jobs did the applicant estimate would be created by the project, and what was the anticipated duration of these jobs.

(21) Did the department evaluate the job creation forecast contained in the application; if so, what was the result of the evaluation; if not, why not.

(22) Has the project proponent provided monthly progress reports in accordance with section 1.17 of the DRAP application; if not: (a) has the project failed to comply with the requirement contained in section 1.17 of the DRAP application, and (b) what action has the department taken to address this failure. 

(23) On how many occasions has the state office of the department inspected the project in accordance with section 1.18 of the DRAP application, and on what dates did those inspections occur.

(24) If a departmental officer has not visited the project in accordance with section 1.18 of the DRAP application; why not.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1090-1120)—

(1) What programs and/or grants administered by the department provide assistance to the people living in the federal electorate of Gippsland.

(2) When did the delivery of these programs and/or grants commence.

(3) What funding was provided through these programs and/or grants for the people of Gippsland in each of the following financial years: (a) 1999-2000; (b) 2000-01; and (c) 2001-02.

(4) What funding has been appropriated for these programs and/or grants in the 2002-03 financial year.

(5) What funding has been appropriated and/or approved under these programs and/or grants to assist organisations and individuals in the electorate of Gippsland in the 2002-03 financial year.

1090 Minister representing the Prime Minister

1091 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

1092 Minister representing the Treasurer

1093 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

1094 Minister for Defence

1095 Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

1096 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

1097 Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

1098 Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

1099 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

1100 Minister representing the Attorney-General

1101 Minister for Finance and Administration

1102 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1103 Minister for Family and Community Services

1104 Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training

1105 Minister for Health and Ageing

1106 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

1107 Minister for Justice and Customs

1108 Minister for the Arts and Sport

1109 Minister representing the Minister for Small Business and Tourism

1110 Minister representing the Minister for Science

1111 Minister representing the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

1112 Minister representing the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

1113 Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services

1114 Special Minister of State

1115 Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

1116 Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer

1117 Minister representing the Minister for Ageing

1118 Minister representing the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

1119 Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

1120 Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation

1121  Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government—Currently, Phosphate Resource Ltd (PRL) pays $1.50 per ton for phosphate as a rehabilitation levy on Christmas Island, a levy that has been collected by the department but administered by Environment Australia (EA):

(1) Is it a fact that the Minister has ended that arrangement; that the monies from the levy imposed on PRL no longer goes to Environment Australia, and Environment Australia is no longer responsible for administering the fund.

(2) Why was this arrangement terminated.

(3) Did EA support the termination of the arrangement.

(4) Is there any evidence that EA was not carrying out its obligations in relation to the levy.

(5) Is there any evidence that EA was failing to protect the Christmas Island environment.

(6) Have tenders been sought in order to find another organisation to manage the levy; if so: (a) who has been granted the contract; (b) who tendered for the contract; (c) what are the terms of the contract; (d) what expertise does the contractor bring to the Christmas Island environment; and (e) how will the levy monies be spent, including percentages spent on rehabilitation, environment work and administration.

(7) Who will oversee the program.

(8) Has the Minister received any correspondence from (PRL) indicating displeasure with EA’s work on Christmas Island.