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Notice given 15 September 2003

2027  Senator Forshaw: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) How many allocated aged care places were available as at 30 June 2003 in each state and territory for: (a) high care residential; (b) low care residential; (c) and community aged care packages.

(2) How many operational places were available as at 30 June 2003 in each state and territory for: (a) high care residential; (b) low care residential; and (c) community aged care packages.

2028  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—In regard to the provision of two-way satellite broadband access for rural areas in Australia: (a) What advantages or disadvantages does the satellite option have for remote communities compared with other options; (b) does the satellite option offer Australians in remote or rural areas services similar to those available in metropolitan areas; and (c) are any proposals being considered by the Government.

2030  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s trip to South America in mid-2003:

(1) When did the Minister : (a) depart Australia; and (b) return to Australia.

(2) Who travelled with the Minister .

(3) Who met the cost of the participants' travel and other expenses associated with the trip.

(4) If costs were met by the department, can an itemised list of costs be provided; if not, why not.

(5) Can the Minister’s detailed itinerary be provided; if not, why not.

2031  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Special Minister of State—With reference to the visit by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to South America in mid-2003:

(1) What travel costs and other associated expenses, if any, were met by the department in respect of the Minister and his staff.

(2) What were these costs per expenditure item for: (a) the Minister ; and (b) the Minister's staff.

(3) What other costs, if any, were met by the department in relation to the trip.

2032  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the trip to the United States of America by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in mid-2003:

(1) When did the Parliamentary Secretary : (a) depart Australia; and (b) return to Australia.

(2) Who travelled with the Parliamentary Secretary .

(3) Who met the cost of the participants’ travel and other expenses associated with the trip.

(4) If costs were met by the department, can an itemised list of costs be provided; if not, why not.

(5) Can the Parliamentary Secretary’s detailed itinerary be provided; if not, why not.

2033  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Special Minister of State—With reference to the trip to the United States of America by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in mid-2003:

(1) What travel costs and other associated expenses, if any, were met by the department in respect of the Parliamentary Secretary and her staff.

(2) What were these costs per expenditure item for: (a) the Parliamentary Secretary ; and (b) the Parliamentary Secretary’s staff.

(3) What other costs, if any, were met by the department in relation to the trip.

Senator O’Brien: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos 2034-2064)—

(1) For each of the following financial years: (a) 1996-97; (b) 1997-98; (c) 1998-99; (d) 1999-2000; (e) 2000-01; (f) 2001-02; (g) 2002-03; and (h) 2003-04, has the department or any agency for which the Minister is responsible, including boards, councils, committees and advisory bodies, made payments to the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) for research projects, consultancies , conferences, publications and/or other purposes; if so, (i) how much each payment, (ii) when was each payment made, and (iii) what services were provided.

(2) In relation to each research project or consultancy: (a) when was the IPA engaged; (b) for what time period; (c) what were the terms of reference; (d) what role did the Minister and/or his office have in the engagement of the IPA; (e) was the contract subject to a tender process; if so, was it an open tender or a select tender; if not, why not.

2037 Minister representing the Minister for Trade

2039 Minister representing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

2040 Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs

2042 Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

2043 Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage

2044 Minister representing the Attorney-General

2046 Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

2047 Minister for Family and Community Services

2050 Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

2051 Minister for Justice and Customs

2052 Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation

2053 Minister for the Arts and Sport

2054 Minister representing the Minister for Small Business and Tourism

2057 Minister representing the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

2058 Minister representing the Minister for Employment Services

2061 Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer

2063 Minister representing the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

2065  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1474 (Senate Hansard , 19 August 2003, p. 14019) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program grant of $20 900 to the Eurobodalla Shire Council for the production of a Eurobodalla coast gourmet trails brochure:

(1) What variations to the application were made on: (a) 2 July 2001; and (b) 17 August 2001.

(2) (a) When was the project milestone constituting a brochure launch scheduled; (b) when was the launch cancelled due to a ‘lack of availability of invitees’; (c) why did the proponent fail to reschedule the launch; and (d) why did the department not delay or withhold progress payments until this project milestone was reached.

(3) When were monitoring visits undertaken.

(4) (a) How has the Minister attributed the generation of four full-time equivalent positions to this project; (b) what is the nature of these positions; and (c) where are they located.

(5) Can the Minister explain how the project was completed on 20 May 2003 when, according to his advice, it is not due to commence until 1 October 2003. 

(6) Can the Minister explain how a final audit was completed on 19 July 2002 when, according to his advice, the project itself was not completed until 20 May 2003. 

2066  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1473 (Senate Hansard , 19 August 2003, p. 14010) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program grant of $34 914 to the Sapphire Coast Producers’ Association Inc. for the alternative starter kits project:

(1) What variation to the application was made on 22 November 2000.

(2) Can the Minister explain why the proponent was not informed about the funding approval until 5 July 2001 when, according to the Minister’s advice, his department informed the Area Consultative Committee and the Member for Eden-Monaro (Mr Nairn) on 10 April 2001 and announced the grant on 11 April 2001.

(3) Why have no monitoring visits been undertaken by the department.

(4) (a) What project milestones has the proponent failed to report; and (b) what progress payments has the department withheld as a consequence of this failure.

(5) With reference to the project’s projected employment generation of 10 to 40 jobs within two years and a further 5 to 10 jobs through the construction of a multi-purpose processing facility: (a) does the drought constitute a satisfactory explanation for the project’s failure to generate any employment outcomes since August 2001; and (b) why is the project not completed.

2067  Senator O’Brien: To ask th e Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1472 (Senate Hansard , 19 August 2003, p. 14004) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program (RAP) grant of $39 974 to the South East New South Wales Area Consultative Committee for the strategic response to dairy RAP project:

(1) Can the Minister explain why he advised that ‘ownership of assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds vests with the funding recipient’ when the Minister’s program information guide states that ‘any assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds will remain the property of the department upon completion or termination of the project, unless the Commonwealth determines otherwise’. 

(2) If the Minister has determined that assets purchased with this grant should be vested in the proponent, can the Minister: (a) explain why; (b) advise what assets were purchased and the value of these assets; and (c) advise on what date this decision was made.

2068  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1471 (Senate Hansard, 19 August 2003, p. 13996) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program (RAP) grant of $660 645 to the Bega Cooperative Society for the Bega Cheese shredding and mozzarella line project:

(1) (a) What project milestones has the proponent failed to meet; and (b) what progress payments have been withheld as a result.

(2) Why is the project incomplete 30 months after commencement when the application advised that the project would be completed within 4 months of commencement.

(3) (a) In what months has the proponent failed to provide monthly progress reports; (b) when has the department made ‘repeated requests’ for the provision of these reports; and (c) what explanation has the department received for the failure to provide these reports.

(4) What is the nature of the ‘22 positions’ generated by the project, i.e. are these jobs permanent, full-time, seasonal, direct or indirect.

(5) (a) Why did the Minister advise that ‘ownership of assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds vests with the funding recipient’ when the Minister’s program information guide states that ‘any assets purchased with Dairy RAP funds will remain the property of the department upon completion or termination of the project, unless the Commonwealth determines otherwise’; and (b) if the Minister has determined that assets purchased with this grant should be vested in the proponent, can the Minister: (i) explain why, (ii) advise what assets were purchased and the value of these assets, and (iii) advise on what date this decision was made.

2069  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1475 (Senate Hansard, 19 August 2003, p. 14025) concerning a Dairy Regional Assistance Program grant of $770 000 to the Bega Cooperative Society for the Bega Cheese - cheese plant upgrade project:

(1) Did the failure of the Bega Cooperative Society to meet project milestones for the Bega Cheese shredding and mozzarella line project have any impact on the decision to approve funding for the cheese plant upgrade project; if so, what impact; if not, why not.

(2) (a) What project milestones has the proponent failed to meet for the shredding and mozzarella line project; and (b) what progress payments have been withheld as a result.

(3) Why is the project incomplete 14 months after commencement when the application advised that the project would be completed within 6 months of commencement.

(4) (a) In what months has the proponent failed to provide monthly progress reports; (b) when has the department made ‘repeated requests’ for the provision of these reports; and (c) what explanation has the department received for the failure to provide these reports.

(5) What is the nature of the ‘24 positions’ generated by the project, i.e. are these jobs permanent, full-time, seasonal, direct or indirect.