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Notice given 21 November 2002

954  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Prime Minister—

(1) On what date did the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet first become aware that some Farm Management Deposit (FMD) products may not comply with legislation applicable to the Government’s FMD scheme.

(2) (a) What was the source of this information; and (b) in what form was this information conveyed, for example, correspondence, e-mail, telephone conversation or direct conversation.

(3) What was the nature of the problem specifically identified in this information.

(4) On what date did the department inform the Prime Minister, or his office, of this problem.

(5) Did the Prime Minister, or his office, receive advice about this problem from a source other than the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; if so: (a) on what date was this information first received; (b) what was the source of this information; (c) in what form was this information conveyed; and (d) what was the nature of the problem specifically identified in this information.

(6) (a) On what date, or dates, did the department take action in response to this identified problem; and (b) what action did the department take.

(7) (a) What departments, agencies, banks or non-bank financial institutions did the department communicate with in relation to this matter; (b) on what date, or dates, did that communication occur; and (c) what form did that communication take.

(8) (a) What responses, if any, has the department received in respect to those communications; (b) in what form have those responses been received; and (c) what was the content of those responses.

(9) What action has the department taken in response to communications from departments, agencies, banks or non-bank financial institutions.

(10) Was the Prime Minister aware when he spoke to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, on 20 November 2002, about the FMD scheme, of:

(a) the report on page 3 of the Australian Financial Review , of 20 November 2002, stating that the Government ‘has been forced to seek an Australian Taxation Office ruling over a potential legal flaw in its $2 billion farm management deposit scheme’; and/or

(b) evidence given by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, on 20 November 2002, that the department had been aware of uncertainty over some FMD products since July 2001.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 955-956)—

(1) On what date did the department first become aware that some Farm Management Deposit (FMD) products may not comply with legislation applicable to the Government’s FMD scheme.

(2) What was the source of this information; and (b) in what form was this information conveyed, for example, correspondence, e-mail, telephone conversation or direct conversation.

(3) What was the nature of the problem specifically identified in this information.

(4) On what date did the department inform the Minister, or his office, of this problem.

(5) Did the Minister, or his office, receive advice about this problem from a source other than the Minister’s department; if so: (a) on what date was this information first received; (b) what was the source of this information; (c) in what form was this information conveyed; and (d) what was the nature of the problem specifically identified in this information.

(6) (a) On what date, or dates, did the department take action in response to this identified problem; and (b) what action did the department take.

(7) (a) What departments, agencies, banks or non-bank financial institutions did the department communicate with in relation to this matter; (b) on what date, or dates, did that communication occur; and (c) what form did that communication take.

(8) (a) What responses, if any, has the department received in respect to those communications; (b) in what form have those responses been received; and (c) what was the content of those responses.

(9) What action has the department taken in response to communications from departments, agencies, banks or non-bank financial institutions.

955 Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services

956 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

957  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Treasurer—

(1) On what date did the Department of the Treasury and/or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) first become aware that some Farm Management Deposit (FMD) products may not comply with legislation applicable to the Government’s FMD scheme.

(2) What was the source of this information; and (b) in what form was this information conveyed, for example, correspondence, e-mail, telephone conversation or direct conversation.

(3) What was the nature of the problem specifically identified in this information.

(4) On what date did the department and/or the ATO, inform the Treasurer, or his office, or the Assistant Treasurer, or her office, of this problem.

(5) Did the Treasurer, or his office, receive advice about this problem from a source other than the Treasurer’s department or the ATO; if so: (a) on what date was this information first received; (b) what was the source of this information; (c) in what form was this information conveyed; and (d) what was the nature of the problem specifically identified in this information.

(6) On what date, or dates, did the department and/or the ATO take action in response to this identified problem; and (b) what action did they take.

(7) (a) What departments, agencies, banks or non-bank financial institutions did the department and/or the ATO communicate with in relation to this matter; (b) on what date, or dates, did that communication occur; and (c) what form did that communication take.

(8) (a) What responses, if any, has the department and/or the ATO received in respect to those communications; (b) in what form have those responses been received; and (c) what was the content of those responses.

(9) What action has the department and/or the ATO taken in response to communications from departments, agencies, banks or non-bank financial institutions.