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Notice given 8 September 2003

1921  Senator Murray: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the Government’s policy in relation to the Mugabe Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Government, can the Minister advise if there are any students attending Australian universities who are related to current ZANU-PF members of the Government or parliamentarians in Zimbabwe.

1923  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Rural Transaction Centre program:

(1) When was the independent Rural Transaction Centre Advisory Committee (RTAC) established.

(2) Who was appointed to the RTAC.

(3) (a) How were RTAC members selected; and (b) who made the final decision as to their appointment.

(4) (a) Who is the chair of the RTAC; (b) how was the chair selected; and (c) who made the final decision as to the chair’s appointment.

(5) At the time of the announcement of the original RTAC: (a) what were the terms and conditions under which RTAC members were engaged; (b) for each member, what payments were made including base salary or retainer fees, sitting fees, travel costs, accommodation and other payments; and (c) for each member: (i) what was the tenure of their contracts, and (ii) who determined these contract terms and conditions.

(6) In relation to the period of service of each member: (a) how many meetings have been held; and (b) how many and which meetings has each member attended.

(7) Are RTAC members required to disclose to the Minister any financial interests they or their immediate families may hold.

(8) Can the Minister confirm that no members of the RTAC have, at any time, held a financial interest in GRM International Pty Ltd or its associated companies.

(9) Since its establishment, have there been changes in the make-up of the RTAC; if so: (a) who has left the RTAC; (b) for what reason or reasons did they leave; (c) when did they leave; (d) who replaced them; (e) when were they replaced; (f) how was their replacement selected; and (g) who made the final decision regarding the replacement’s appointment.

(10) How often and where has the RTAC met since its establishment.

(11) What records exist of these meetings.

(12) Who provides secretarial support to the RTAC.

(13) What has been the cost of the RTAC, by year, since the announcement of the program, including the costs of secretariat support and all other administrative costs.

1924  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Rural Transaction Centre program:

(1) (a) How are applications for preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities evaluated; and (b) who makes the final decision.

(2) (a) How are applications for the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres evaluated; and (b) who makes the final decision.

(3) Have these processes altered since the program was first announced; if so, how.

(4) (a) What benchmarks are used, and methods of ongoing evaluation employed, in monitoring and reporting on the performance of established Rural Transaction Centres; and (b) are these reports made available to the Minister; if so, how often.

(5) Can a copy of the funding guidelines used by the Rural Transaction Centre Advisory Committee to assess applications be provided; if not, why not.

1925  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Media Release M250/2000 of 18 December 2000:

(1) (a) What process was used to select and appoint GRM International Pty Limited (GRM International); and (b) who made the final decision.

(2) Which other organisations expressed an interest in undertaking this work.

(3) What was the total forecast expenditure by year under the contract.

(5) How many full-time equivalent officers was GRM International to supply.

(6) Did the contract specify where these officers were to be located.

(7) (a) What, if any, changes have been made to the original terms of the contract; (b) why have these changes been made; and (c) who approved these changes.

(8) What has been the actual expenditure, by year, in relation to the contract.

(9) How many full-time equivalent officers has GRM International supplied for each year since the contract was awarded.

(10) (a) Where is each officer supplied by GRM International located; and (b) in which federal electorates are they located.

1926  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Rural Transaction Centre program:

(1) When was the independent Rural Transaction Centre Advisory Committee (RTAC) established.

(2) Who was appointed to the RTAC.

(3) (a) How were RTAC members selected; and (b) who made the final decision as to their appointment.

(4) (a) Who is the chair of the RTAC; (b) how was the chair selected; and (c) who made the final decision as to the chair’s appointment.

(5) At the time of the announcement of the original RTAC: (a) what were the terms and conditions under which RTAC members were engaged; (b) for each member, what payments were made including base salary or retainer fees, sitting fees, travel costs, accommodation and other payments; and (c) for each member: (i) what was the tenure of their contracts, and (ii) who determined these contract terms and conditions.

(6) In relation to the period of service of each member: (a) how many meetings have been held; and (b) how many and which meetings has each member attended.

(7) Are RTAC members required to disclose to the Minister any financial interests they or their immediate families may hold.

(8) Can the Minister confirm that no members of the RTAC have, at any time, held a financial interest in GRM International Pty Ltd or its associated companies.

(9) Since its establishment, have there been changes in the make-up of the RTAC; if so: (a) who has left the RTAC; (b) for what reason or reasons did they leave; (c) when did they leave; (d) who replaced them; (e) when were they replaced; (f) how was their replacement selected; and (g) who made the final decision regarding the replacement’s appointment.

(10) How often and where has the RTAC met since its establishment.

(11) What records exist of these meetings.

(12) Who provides secretarial support to the RTAC.

(13) What has been the cost of the RTAC, by year, since the announcement of the program, including the costs of secretariat support and all other administrative costs.

1927  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Rural Transaction Centre program:

(1) (a) How are applications for preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities evaluated; and (b) who makes the final decision.

(2) (a) How are applications for the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres evaluated; and (b) who makes the final decision.

(3) Have these processes altered since the program was first announced; if so, how.

(4) (a) What benchmarks are used, and methods of ongoing evaluation employed, in monitoring and reporting on the performance of established Rural Transaction Centres; and (b) are these reports made available to the Minister; if so, how often.

(5) Can a copy of the funding guidelines used by the Rural Transaction Centre Advisory Committee to assess applications be provided; if not, why not.

1928  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Media Release M250/2000 of 18 December 2000, can the Minister advise:

(1) (a) What process was used to select and appoint GRM International Pty Limited (GRM International); and (b) who made the final decision.

(2) Which other organisations expressed an interest in undertaking this work.

(3) What was the original tenure of the contract with GRM International.

(4) What was the forecast expenditure, by year, under the contract with GRM International.

(5) How many full-time equivalent officers was GRM International to supply under the contract.

(6) Did the contract specify where these officers were to be located.

(7) (a) What, if any, changes have been made to the original terms of the contract with GRM International; (b) why have these changes been made; and (c) who approved these changes.

(8) What has been the expenditure, by year, under the contract with GRM International.

(9) How many full-time equivalent officers has GRM International supplied for each year since the contract was awarded.

(10) (a) Where is each officer supplied by GRM International based; and (b) in which federal electorates are they located.

1929  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) When was the Rural Transaction Centre program announced.

(2) What was the intended outcome of the program at the time of the original announcement.

(3) (a) What was the program’s forecast duration; and (b) has the forecast been altered; if so, in what way and why.

(4) What was the initial funding allocation to the program for each year of the program’s original intended duration.

(5) Of the original funding allocation, what quantum was allocated for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(6) What has been the actual quantum of funding expended for each year of the program for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(7) At the time the program was announced, what was the forecast number of applications expected, by year, for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(8) How many applications have been received, by year, for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(9) How many Rural Transaction Centres have been established for each year since the program’s inception.

(10) What is the location of each established Rural Transaction Centre, and in which federal electorate are they located.

(11) (a) How many applications, for the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities, are pending; and (b) from which town or community groups have these applications been received and in which federal electorates are they located.

(12) How many applications for the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres are pending and, if successful, in which towns and federal electorates will they be located.

1930  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads—

(1) When was the Rural Transaction Centre program announced.

(2) What was the intended outcome of the program at the time of the original announcement.

(3) (a) What was the program’s forecast duration; and (b) has the forecast been altered; if so, in what way and why.

(4) What was the initial funding allocation to the program for each year of the program’s original intended duration.

(5) Of the original funding allocation, what quantum was allocated for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(6) What has been the actual quantum of funding expended for each year of the program for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(7) At the time the program was announced, what was the forecast number of applications expected, by year, for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(8) How many applications have been received, by year, for: (a) the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities; and (b) the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres.

(9) How many Rural Transaction Centres have been established for each year since the program’s inception.

(10) What is the location of each established Rural Transaction Centre, and in which federal electorate are they located.

(11) (a) How many applications, for the preparation of business plans to enable identification of services required by the applicant communities, are pending; and (b) from which town or community groups have these applications been received and in which federal electorates are they located.

(12) How many applications for the establishment and operation of Rural Transaction Centres are pending and, if successful, in which towns and federal electorates will they be located.

1931  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) For the calendar year 2003 to date: (a) how many staff have been made redundant at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO); and (b) for each staff member made redundant: (i) what Division did they work for, (ii) what was their position within the organisation, (iii) was the nature of their redundancy voluntary or involuntary, (iv) what was the duration of their employment with CSIRO, and (v) what was the last project they worked on.

(2) For the remainder of 2003: (a) how many staff will be made redundant at the CSIRO; and (b) for each staff member: (i) what Division do they work for, (ii) what is their position within the organisation, (iii) was the nature of their redundancy voluntary or involuntary, (iv) what is the duration of their employment with CSIRO, and (v) what will be their last project.

(3) For the calendar year 2002: (a) how many staff were made redundant at the CSIRO; and (b) for each staff member: (i) what Division did they work for, (ii) what was their position within the organisation, (iii) was the nature of their redundancy voluntary or involuntary, (iv) what was the duration of their employment with CSIRO, and (v) what was the last project they worked on.

(4) What consultation on the matter of redundancies has been undertaken with affected staff, relevant unions and the CSIRO Staff Association during 2003.

(5) (a) At what level were these staffing cut decisions made; and (b) was the Minister involved.

(6) What are the costs of redundancy packages for 2003, actual and planned.

(7) What is the rationale for these redundancies.  

1934  Senator Carr: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) Can a list be provided of all projects commissioned under the department’s Evaluation and Investigation Program (EIP) since 1 July 2000.

(2) In relation to each project mentioned in paragraph (1), can the following information be provided in tabular form: (a) the title of the project; (b) who commissioned the project; (c) who undertook the study and research for the project; (d) the stated purpose of the project; (e) the value of the project; (f) the date of acquittal of payment for each project; (g) the date the report for the project was provided to the department; (h) the date the report was published; (i) details of whether the report was published electronically or in hard copy; (j) confirmation that all such reports have been provided to the Employment, Workplace Relations and Education Legislation Committee, together with the date of provision; (k) if reports were not published, why; and (l) if reports were not provided to the Committee, why not.

1935  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) How many instances were there in each of the past 3 years of explosives being stolen from Defence establishments.

(2) In how many instances in the same years were there incomplete reconciliations of stock holdings.

(3) In each case, what was stolen and in what quantity.

(4) (a) What regular process exists for the routine reconciliation of explosive supplies; and (b) what is the reporting and coordination process.

(5) What quantities of explosives, by type, were purchased in each of the past 2 financial years.

(6) In how many locations around Australia are explosives stored.

(7) What accountability for stocks of explosives exists to security agencies at both federal and state levels.

1936  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—

(1) How many cases of stolen explosives were reported to the Australian Federal Police and state police forces in each of the past 3 years.

(2) What coordination mechanism exists at the federal level for the exchange of information on explosive imports, local manufacture, sale and distribution of all explosive material.

(3) What investigations are conducted into reports of missing or stolen explosives in Australia.

(4) What quantity of explosive material was manufactured within Australia in each of the past 3 years.

(5) How much explosive material, by type, was imported.

(6) How much explosive material, by type: (a) was exported; and (b) to which destination ,by quantity.