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Notice given 25 February 2003

1198  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Commonwealth commitment of $2.65 million to the Murrumbidgee Valley Water Efficiency Feasibility Project:

(1) When will this funding be expended.

(2) Will the Commonwealth provide other resources to the project; if so, can details be provided.

(3) Is it the case that the New South Wales Government will make a contribution of $2.65 million to the project.

(4) What contribution of funding and resources will Pratt Water make to the project.

(5) Is it the case that the New South Wales Minister for Land and Water Conservation, Mr Aquilina, announced the project funding arrangements, including the Commonwealth contribution, on 19 December 2002.

(6) Why did the Minister re-announce the project on 11 February 2003.

(7) How will the project complement the Commonwealth’s ‘broader discussions and consultations’ on water property rights.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 1199-1200)—Does the department hold an original copy of the Dairy Structural Adjustment Program application pack, including an application book and guide incorporating an application form; if so, can a copy be provided; if not, why not.

1199 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

1200 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

1201  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—Can details be provided of the benchmarks against which the department will measure the efficiency of the collection mechanism for the government’s new sugar tax/levy.

1202  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the department’s evidence to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee on 10 February 2003 concerning under-reporting of executive remuneration in the department’s 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial statements:

(1) On what day did the department seek advice from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) about whether the under-reporting constituted a ‘material breach’.

(2) Which officer sought that advice.

(3) Was the request oral or written.

(4) On what day did the ANAO provide advice to the department.

(5) Which officer provided this advice.

(6) What was the content of this advice.

(7) Was this advice oral or written.

(8) If oral, can confirmation of this advice be provided; if not, why not.

(9) If written, can a copy of this advice be provided.

(10) Has the department sought advice from the ANAO on whether it is necessary to issue a corrigendum to the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial statements: (a) if so: (i) on what day was this advice sought, (ii) which officer sought this advice, and (iii) was the request for this advice oral or written; and (b) if not, (i) from which agency was this advice sought, (ii) which officer sought this advice, and (iii) was the request oral or written.

(11) On what day was advice on the matter of the corrigendum received.

(12) What was the content of this advice.

(13) Was this advice oral or written.

(14) Which officer and agency provided this advice.

(15) What specific change to departmental procedures has occurred since the under-reporting of executive remuneration was revealed in November 2002.

1203  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the department’s portfolio additional estimates statements for the 2002-03 financial year:

(1) Why has the estimate of revenue from the all milk levy increased by $5 509 000 from $30 000 000 to $35 509 000.

(2) Can the data for the revised estimate be provided.

1204  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s media statement AFFA03/033WT:

(1) To what time period does the expenditure in the ‘EC Expenditure’ column relate.

(2) Can an explanation of the figures, including a state and financial year breakdown, be provided.

1205  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—With reference to evidence given to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee estimates hearing on 20 November 2002 that accounts of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry were qualified by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in the 1999-2000 financial year because a payment made in that year breached the Australian Constitution:

(1) Did the ANAO qualify the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry accounts; if so: (a) on what date did the ANAO become aware of the breach; (b) what are the details of the breach; (c) on what date did the ANAO qualify the department’s accounts; and (d) what were the consequences of that action.

(2) Have any other Commonwealth departments had accounts qualified by the ANAO in the past 3 financial years; if so, can details be provided.

1206  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) What was the volume and value of exports of blueberries from Australia in the past 3 financial years.

(2) What was the volume and value of exports of blueberries from Australia to Japan in the past 3 financial years.

(3) From which regions in Australia are blueberry exports sourced.

(4) Can details be provided of the alleged incident in November 2002 involving two shipments of blueberries to Japan containing high levels of the insecticide malathion, including: (a) when the shipments were made; (b) the origin and destination of the shipments; (c) the name of the blueberry company and, if applicable, the export company concerned; (d) the details of maximum allowable residue levels in blueberry exports to Japan; (e) the details of the detected residue and level of residue present in each of these shipments; (f) the details of the general inspection regime, if any, for exports of blueberries to Japan; (g) the details of the pre-export inspection, if any, of these two shipments; (h) when the unacceptable residue level was detected by the Japanese authorities; (i) the action taken by the Japanese authorities following the residue detection; (j) the resulting consequences for Australian blueberry exporters and exporters of other agricultural products, including additional testing requirements and loss of market share; and (k) details of action taken by the Minister and/or his department in relation to this matter.

1207  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—With reference to the drought investment allowance:

(1) (a) Is it the case that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2000 estimated and projected total expenditure on the allowance for the period 1997-98 to 2002-03 at $53 million, and that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2001 estimated and projected total expenditure on the allowance for the period 1997-98 to 2002-03 at $41 million; (b) why do the two expenditure figures differ by $12 million; and (c) do the figures demonstrate a change in government policy between the publication of the Tax Expenditures Statement 2000 on 28 January 2001 and the Tax Expenditures Statement 2001 on 18 December 2001.

(2) (a) Is it the case that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2000 projected total expenditure on the allowance in the period 2000-01 at $10 million, and that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2001 estimated total expenditure on the allowance in the period 2000-01 at $5 million; and (b) why do the two expenditure figures differ by $5 million.

(3) (a) Is it the case that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2000 projected total expenditure on the allowance in the period 2001-02 at $6 million, and that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2001 projected total expenditure on the allowance in the period 2000-01 at $nil; and (b) why do the two expenditure figures differ by $6 million.

(4) (a) Is it the case that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2000 projected total expenditure on the allowance in the period 2002-03 at $1 million, and that the Tax Expenditures Statement 2001 projected total expenditure on the allowance in the period 2002-03 at $nil; and (b) why do the two expenditure figures differ by $1 million.

(5) What was the actual cost of the allowance in each of the following financial years: (a) 1995-96; (b) 1996-97; (c) 1997-98; (d) 1998-99; (e) 1999-2000; and (f) 2000-01.

1208  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—What was the date of formation and what is the composition of the following committees involving departmental staff working on the development of a free trade agreement between the United States of America and Australia: (a) Deputy Secretary-Level Committee; (b) Officials Committee on Agriculture; and (c) Industry-Government Committee.

1209  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) On what date did the department first receive a request from the Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) for payment of $1 144.64 relating to the Minister’s police escort during a 2002 visit to the Philippines.

(2) On what dates have the department and DOFA communicated in relation to this matter.

(3) Has the department complied with the request from DOFA for payment of this account; if so, when was the account paid; if not, why not.

(4) Did the negotiation of heavy traffic facilitated by the police escort enable the Minister to attend his key meetings on time.

1210  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the Government’s sugar tax/levy does not apply to forward contracts for sugar formed prior to the commencement of the levy on 1 January 2003; if so, can details of the revenue implications of this arrangement be provided.

(2) Can the Minister confirm whether he has instructed his department to waive compliance with the Government’s sugar tax/levy for the first 60 days of its operation; if so, can details of the revenue implications of this arrangement be provided.

1211  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—In relation to the administration of Australia’s United States (US) beef quota:

(1) Why is it that the US Customs figures do not correspond with export figures maintained by the department for the 2002 quota year.

(2) What are the details of the 5 500 tonne discrepancy for the 2002 quota year, on a month-by-month basis.

(3) When did the department first become aware that the Australian quota would be under-filled for the 2002 quota year.

(4) How will the 5 500 tonnes of quota be allocated.

(5) On what date or dates did the department consult with US authorities on this proposal.

(6) (a) On what date or dates did the department consult with Australian beef exporters on this proposal; and (b) which exporters were consulted.

(7) What action has been taken to ensure the discrepancy between Australian and US export figures does not recur in the 2003 quota year.

1212  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the current Quarantine Matters! campaign:

(1) Is the total budget for the 2002-03 financial year $6.894 million.

(2) How much has been expended.

(3) Can a detailed breakdown be provided of the budget and expenditure figures including media, production, talent and non-media costs.

(4) What is the total proposed campaign budget for: (a) metropolitan television; (b) non-metropolitan television; (c) metropolitan radio; (d) non-metropolitan radio; (e) metropolitan newspapers; and (f) non-metropolitan newspapers.

(5) What amount has been expended to date on: (a) metropolitan television; (b) non-metropolitan television; (c) metropolitan radio; (d) non-metropolitan radio; (e) metropolitan newspapers; and (f) non-metropolitan newspapers.

(6) Can a copy of the complete media schedule for the campaign, including that for international in-bound in-flight television, be provided; if not, why not.

(7) Is it the case that the campaign began on 14 December 2002; if not, when did it commence.

(8) Has the campaign concluded; if so, when did it conclude; if not, when will it conclude.

(9) What is the campaign’s target audience.

(10) What percentage of the budget has been allocated to communication with overseas audiences.

(11) What assessment was made of the need for the campaign prior to its commencement.

(12) Was benchmark research undertaken prior to the commencement of the campaign.

(13) Assuming that focus group research was conducted into the advertising concept, can a copy of the report from the research company in relation to the outcomes of focus group testing be provided; if not, why not.

(14) Besides the Quarantine Matters! campaign, what other concepts were considered and developed.

(15) What performance indicators have been established to measure the effectiveness of this campaign.

(16) How has the effectiveness of the campaign been measured against these indicators.

(17) Is the department undertaking ongoing tracking research; if so, how often are reports received by the department and can copies of the reports received by the department be made available.

(18) When will the overall performance of the campaign be measured.

(19) How will the overall performance of the campaign be measured.

(20) What provision has the campaign made for audiences from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB).

(21) Was an NESB consultant engaged to advise on the campaign.

(22) Was an advertising agency engaged in relation to the campaign; if so: (a) was the engagement subject to tender; if so, was the tender open or select; if not, why not; (b) which agency was engaged; (c) when was the agency engaged; (d) what is the value of the contract with the agency; (e) can a copy of the contract with the agency be provided; if not, why not.

(23) Was a production agency engaged to produce the television and/or radio advertisements; if so: (a) was the engagement direct or indirect; (b) was the engagement subject to tender; if so, was the tender open or select; if not, why not; (c) which agency was engaged; (d) when was the agency engaged; (e) what is the value of the contract with the agency; and (f) can a copy of the contract with the agency be provided; if not, why not.

(24) Did Mr Steve Irwin and/or a talent agency charge a fee for Mr Irwin’s participation in the campaign; if so, what was the fee.

(25) How many shooting days were required to film the television advertisements.

(26) With reference to the Minister’s media statement AFFA02/354WT, what ‘range of other targeted campaign activities including press and radio advertising, offshore internet activity and stakeholder relations’ does the campaign complement.

1213  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Can details be provided of the full production costs of the publication Raising the Nation: A History of Commonwealth Departments of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry .

(2) How many copies have been produced.

(3) How many copies have been distributed at no cost to recipients.

(4) What is the procedure adopted by the department to ensure the production was subject to apolitical co-ordination.

1214  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—In relation to discretionary payment right determinations under the Supplementary Dairy Assistance (SDA) scheme:

(1) Can details be provided of matters taken into account when determining whether an eligible dairy leasing arrangement exists.

(2) Which specific matters, including but not limited to the assessment of dairy leasing arrangements, were taken into account in relation to the assessment of SDA applications from Fiona Wilson, Leanne Berboon and Phillip Stoll.

1215  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—What contribution has the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service made in the past 12 months to the Government’s consideration of quarantine issues in relation to cabotage.

1216  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) Has the Minister received the first monthly report from the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in relation to expenditure of $1 million in public drought funding: (a) if so, (i) when was the report received, (ii) how much has been expended, (iii) what amount has been expended by state, (iv) on what date was the first grant made, (v) what is the value of the smallest grant, and (vi) what is the value of the largest grant; and (b) if not, when will the first report be received.

(2) What details does the Commonwealth require the CWA to include in the expenditure reports.

1217  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the National Food Industry Strategy:

(1) Can copies of program guidelines, performance indicators and budget details, including actual and approved expenditure, by year and by state (where applicable), be provided for the following programs: (a) Food Innovation Grants Program; (b) Food Centres of Excellence Initiative; (c) Technical Market Access Program; (d) International Food Standards Initiative; (e) Food Export Program; (f) Food Chains Program; and (g) Food Safety and Quality Initiative.

(2) When will an evaluation of the programs be undertaken.

(3) Which programs will be delivered by the department.

(4) Which programs will be delivered by National Food Industry Strategy Limited (NFIS Ltd).

(5) How are NFIS Ltd’s administrative costs funded and reported.

(6) Can a copy of the NFIS Ltd constitution, and the contract between NFIS Ltd and the Commonwealth, be provided; if not, why not.