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Notice given 6 September 2003

1865  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the grant of $275 000 for the Whitesnake Ventilation Improved Underground project under the Structural Adjustment Package for the Wide Bay Burnett Region of Queensland:

(1) (a) What total Structural Adjustment Package funds have been paid to the proponent; and (b) if the funds were paid in one sum, on what date was the payment made; or if the funds were paid in instalments, what were the instalment dates and amounts paid on each date.

(2) (a) What is the name of the proponent; and (b) if the proponent is an organisation or company, does it operate on a commercial or not-for-profit basis.

(3) What is the proponent’s business address.

(4) Can a description of the project be provided.

(5) Did the department or the Minister receive representations from the Member for Wide Bay (Mr Truss) on behalf of the proponent and/or the Wide Bay Burnett Region Advisory Committee.

(6) When did the department or the Minister inform the proponent, the Wide Bay Burnett Region Advisory Committee and the Member for Wide Bay about the funding approval.

(7) When did the department or the Minister publicly announce the grant.

(8) What was the quantum of the grant announced by the department or the Minister.

(9) In relation to the application for funding:

(a) when was the funding application lodged with the department;

(b) when was the funding application referred to the Wide Bay Burnett Region Advisory Committee;

(c) was the application varied; if so, when, and what was the nature of the variation/s;

(d) when did the committee make a recommendation to the Minister;

(e) what recommendation did the committee make;

(f) when was the application approved by the Minister;

(g) did the funding application comply with the structural adjustment package guidelines; if not, can details of the non-compliance be provided;

(h) what total funding was sought, including goods and services tax;

(i) what was the main business of the proponent at the time of application;

(j) how did the proponent describe the proposed project;

(k) was the proposed project a new project or an extension of an existing business activity;

(l) with reference to employment outcomes nominated by the proponent:

(i) how many full-time and part time jobs did the proponent claim would be generated by the project,

(ii) how many direct and indirect jobs did the proponent claim would be generated by the project,

(iii) how many construction jobs did the proponent claim would be generated by the project,

(iv) what employment timing was outlined by the proponent, and

(v) what types of jobs did the proponent claim would be generated by the project i.e. skilled or unskilled and training opportunities;

(m) what project planning and design time did the proponent nominate;

(n) if applicable, what construction start date was nominated by the proponent;

(o) what project commissioning and/or commencement date was nominated by the proponent;

(p) what date did the proponent nominate for the project to become fully operational;

(q) did a project plan accompany the application form nominating project milestones; if so, what major milestones were nominated by the proponent;

(r) what long-term benefits to the Wide Bay Burnett region did the proponent say would be generated by the project;

(s) what flow-on benefits to other businesses, organisations or individuals in the region did the proponent say would be generated by the project;

(t) was the proposal local, national or export focused;

(u) did a business plan accompany the application form;

(v) what evidence did the proponent provide to support the proposal’s feasibility and did this evidence include a feasibility study; if so, who undertook the feasibility study;

(w) did the proponent provide details of projected cash flow, revenue and expenses for at least the first 5 years; if so, did the proponent include investment analysis details such as rates of return, liquidity and debt analysis;

(x) were copies of the proponent’s business plan and financial statements provided;

(y) did the proponent provide details of similar projects successfully realised; if so, what projects;

(z) did the proponent provide a statement indicating the extent to which Commonwealth funding was needed to realise the project;

(aa) (i) what evidence did the proponent provide indicating community support for the application, and (ii) which organisations or individuals provided letters of support;

(ab) what sources of funding, other than structural adjustment package funds, did the proponent identify would be provided or had been sought for the project, including Commonwealth and/or state and/or local government funding;

(ac) was a statement provided attesting that the proponent’s financial contribution to the project would be a new investment;

(ad) did the proponent provide evidence that appropriate planning and environmental approvals had been gained or sought;

(ae) did the proponent provide a statement describing the likely impact of the project on other businesses in the region; if so, how did the proponent describe the likely impact; and

(af) did the proponent provide details of a likely net increase in employment, including, if applicable, employment growth resulting from relocation.

(10) In relation to the progress of the project:

(a)  when did the proponent enter into a grant agreement with the department;

(b) with reference to employment outcomes:

(i) how many full-time and part time jobs have been generated by the project,

(ii) how many direct and indirect jobs have been generated by the project,

(iii) how many construction jobs were generated by the project,

(iv) over what time period have these jobs been created, and have employment growth and employment numbers been sustained, and

(v) what types of jobs have been generated by the project i.e. skilled or unskilled and training opportunities;

(c) what project planning and design time was required;

(d) if applicable, what was the construction start date;

(e) when did project operations commence;

(f) when did the project become fully operational;

(g) were progress payments negotiated on the basis of project activity; if so: (i) has the proponent failed to meet any agreed project milestones, and (ii) have any progress payments been delayed or withheld due to the failure to meet agreed project milestones;

(h) (i) what project management structure was established, (ii) what selection process for the project manager was adopted, and (iii) was a steering committee established;

(i) (i) what progress report timing and format was adopted, and (ii) have reporting requirements been met;

(j) (i) what monitoring and evaluation process was adopted, and (ii) has the department undertaken monitoring visits; if so, when;

(k) what long-term benefits for the Wide Bay Burnett region have been generated by the project;

(l) what flow-on benefits to other businesses, organisations or individuals in the region have been generated by the project;

(m) has the project been local, national or export focused;

(n) what sources of funding, other than structural adjustment package funds, have supported the project, including Commonwealth and/or state and/or local government funding;

(o) what financial contribution has the proponent made to the project;

(p) has the proponent complied with appropriate planning and environmental laws; and

(q) what impact has the project had on other businesses in the region.

(11) In relation to completion of the project funding period (if applicable):

(a) when did the project and/or funding period conclude;

(b) if the project is ongoing, what is its source of funding i.e. self-funding or other sources;

(c) has the proponent lodged a final report; if so, on what date;

(d) if applicable, has the final payment to the proponent been made;

(e) how many direct and indirect full-time equivalent positions have been generated by the project; and

(f) has an independent audit been undertaken; if so: (i) who undertook the audit, (ii) when was it completed, and (iii) what findings did it make.