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Notice given 21 November 2005

*1364  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Family and Community Services—With reference to the eight community grants identified as Family and Community Service (FACS) Budget measures in the 2005 Budget:

(1) (a) Under what FACS programs were the eight community projects listed in the 2005 Budget funded; and (b) were they funded on an ad-hoc basis.

(2) Why were these eight projects separately identified in the 2005 Budget, while many other grants awarded by FACS were not.

(3) When did the department last, if ever, identify local community grants as a separate budget measure.

(4) Who made each of the election commitments relating to these grants and when were the commitments made.

(5) Were claims made by local Coalition candidates that they were responsible for securing the funding for these projects.

(6) What role did the relevant Coalition candidates in each of the electorates play in getting the grants approved.

(7) When did the department first become aware: (a) of the eight projects; and (b) that it would be responsible for funding the projects.

(8) Can the Minister confirm that seven of the eight projects (all except the Eastern Access Community Health project) were included in a list of Regional Partnership Program grants administered by the Department of Transport and Regional Services that was circulated in November 2004 after the election.

(9) Had seven of the eight projects been approved for funding under the Regional Partnerships Program.

(10) What was the status of these seven projects under the Regional Partnerships Program.

(11) Was there a decision to transfer these seven projects from the Regional Partnerships Program to FACS; if so: (a) when and why; (b) who made the decision; and (c) why were these projects transferred.

(12) Has there been any other instances in which grants have been transferred to FACS from a grants program in another department.

(13) With reference to each grant, what was the process by which the funding for these projects was approved, specifically: (a) did the department undertake any assessment on the viability and/or quality of the proposed projects; if so, when; (b) did the department provide any advice or recommendations to the Minister in relation to the funding of these projects; (c) did the department provide any information to the Minister in relation to these projects; (d) did the Minister formally approve the funding for the projects; if so: (i) when, and (ii) was this approval in accordance with the recommendations, if any, provided by the department; and (e) under what power was the funding for these projects appropriated.

(14) With reference to each of the eight projects, was there an application made by an organisation in relation to the project prior to the 2004 election; if so: (a) when were these applications received; (b) under what program were they received; (c) had these applications been assessed under that program prior to the 2004 election; and (d) what was the result of that assessment, that is, were they approved or rejected.

(15) In the months leading up to the 2004 election, was the department asked to provide information to a Minister’s office on individual grant applications, which may have included the eight applications.

(16) Has the department provided information to a Minister’s office in relation to grant applications outside the normal approval process; if so, can a list be provided of the instances in which this has occurred.

(17) (a) In terms of the ongoing administration of these projects, are they being treated like other community grants under the Local Solutions program; and (b) is the area responsible for this program administering the grants.

(18) To date, what funding has been paid under each of the eight grants.

*1365  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and Indigenous employment:

(1) With reference to the Top End Aboriginal Land Management and Employment Strategy 2004-06: (a) what are the key objectives of the strategy; (b) does the strategy contain any targets in relation to Indigenous employment; (c) which agency is responsible for the strategy; (d) which agencies are involved in the strategy and can the financial contribution of each agency from 2004-06 be provided; (e) how much funding (both administered and departmental) has the ILC spent to date on the strategy and where do the funds appear in the budget papers; (f) how much has been spent in total by all agencies on the strategy to date; (g) how many ongoing, full-time positions have been created as a result of this strategy; (h) how many of these full-time positions have been filled by Indigenous people; (i) how many ongoing, part-time positions have been created as a result of this strategy; and (j) how many of these full-time positions have been filled by Indigenous people.

(2) With reference to the ILC’s submission to the inquiry of the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs into Indigenous employment, which stated that in the 2003-04 financial year more than 50 Indigenous people were employed by ILC-operated businesses: (a) what is an ‘ILC-operated business’; (b) how many ILC-operated businesses were there in the financial years 2003-04 to 2005-06 to date; (b) how many people (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) were employed in ILC-operated businesses in the financial years 2003-04 to 2005-06 to date; and (c) what number and percentage did Indigenous people represent out of the total number of employees in ILC-operated businesses for the financial years 2004-05 to 2005-06 to date.

 

 (3) With reference to the ILC’s submission referred to in (2) above, which stated that the ILC currently employs 22 Indigenous people, representing 23 per cent of the ILC’s total staffing: (a) how many of these 22 staff were in ongoing positions; (b) how many were in non-ongoing positions; (c) how many were cadets and trainees; (d) what was the number of Indigenous staff employed by the ILC in the financial years 2004-05 to 2005-06 to date; and (e) can both actual numbers and percentages of total persons employed by the ILC be provided.

(4) With reference to a table of Indigenous staff members in the ILC submission mentioned in (2) above, indicating that Indigenous staffing levels remained around 28 to 29 per cent between mid-1996 to mid-2002 and at May 2005, the percentage of Indigenous staff was 23 per cent: (a) why has there been a decline in Indigenous staffing levels since 2002; (b) what is the length of service of each Indigenous person currently employed at the ILC; (c) how many new employees have been employed by the ILC since 1996 and how many of these employees have been Indigenous; (d) has the ILC taken any steps to increase recruitment of Indigenous people; if so, what steps and when did they begin; (e) has the ILC set any targets or goals in relation to Indigenous employment; (f) does the ILC give preference to Indigenous candidates in any way in the selection process; if so, how; (g) how many of the three Indigenous cadets and four Indigenous traineeships have resulted in ongoing employment at the ILC.

*1366  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) acquisitions: Can a list be provided of the ILC’s property interests in each state and territory, including: (a) the specific location; (b) the nature and duration of the interest; (c) when it was acquired; (d) how much ILC paid or is paying for the interest; (e) the current value of the investment; and (f) for what purpose was the interest acquired (e.g. cultural, economic).

*1367  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC):

(1) Is the divestment of land acquisitions to Aboriginal ownership (e.g. an Aboriginal Land Council) discretionary; if so: (a) when was this change introduced; (b) what was the rationale for the change; and (c) did the ILC make a public announcement in relation to the change.

(2) To date, how many acquisitions have: (a) been settled; and (b) been divested.

(3) Of the acquisitions that have been divested to date, can a list be provided indicating: (a) how many acquisitions have been divested to non-Aboriginal ownership; (b) the name of the non-Aboriginal recipient; (c) when the divestment occurred; and (d) the value of the acquisition at the time of the divestment.

(4) Under what circumstances are acquisitions divested to non-Aboriginal corporates.

 

 (5) What is the general procedure for divestment of ILC’s legal interests, including: (a) when does it take place; (b) what is the typical time frame; (c) what are the criteria for determining the appropriate body to whom ownership is being divested; (d) are these criteria specified and can any documented criteria be provided; (e) what is the procedure for selecting the appropriate body to whom ownership is being divested; and (f) will the ILC consider a request by a corporate body that it be the recipient of a particular divestment.

*1368  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to The Grog Book: Strengthening Indigenous Community Action on Alcohol published by the department in 1998 and reprinted in 2005:

(1) (a) When was the idea of the book first conceived in the department; (b) how did the idea originate; (c) what are the objectives of the book; and (d) when did the department begin funding the preparation of the book.

(2) (a) What was the cost of preparing the first edition of the book, including departmental costs and author fees; (b) from which program did the funding come; and (c) where does the funding for these costs and fees appear in the budget papers.

(3) (a) To date, what has been the total funding allocated and spent on the book and promotional material; (b) what is the breakdown of funds for: (i) preparation, (ii) printing, (iii) distribution, and (iv) other related departmental costs; and (c) from which program or programs has this funding been sourced.

(4) (a) What was the date (month and year) of each print run; (b) how many copies were printed in each run; (c) what was the cost of printing for each run; and (d) where in the budget papers is the relevant program and funding.

(5) (a) When was it decided to revise the first edition of the book; and (b) what was the principal reason for revising the book.

(6) What were the departmental costs of revising the book and any other authoring or revision fees.

(7) (a) For each year since 1998, how many copies of the book have been distributed; and (b) how many copies of the book does the department currently have in storage or stock.

(8) What promotional material relating to the book was produced.

(9) (a) When were promotional posters produced for the original print and reprint runs; (b) how many posters were produced at each print run; and (c) what was the cost of each poster print run.

(10) (a) How has the book been distributed; (b) have copies been sent to every community; and (c) do communities have to request copies.

(11) Has feedback been requested by the department on the success of the book in Indigenous communities; if so: (a) how has this feedback been sought; (b) which communities were consulted; and (c) what was the result.

(12) Has the department facilitated or supported the use of the book in communities, for example, by sending officers to work with communities, looking at the issues raised by the book and identifying possible solutions that might be implemented in communities.

 

 (13) (a) For the years 1998 to 2004, what has been the total expenditure on Indigenous-specific alcohol strategies; and (b) how much funding will be allocated for the 2005-08 period.

*1369  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister for Defence—With reference to the Defence Security Project JP2054 Phase 1A:

(1) What is the status of the project; and (b) at which departmental sites has the project been implemented.

(2) Has the project progressed past Phase 1A; if so: (a) what phase is now being considered or undertaken; and (b) what is the expected outcome of this phase.

(3) To date, what is the total cost of the project.

(4) With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 2112 (Senate Hansard , 24 November 2003, p. 17748), which advised that a Business Case Review of the project had been commissioned: (a) what was the result of the review; (b) what action was taken in light of the recommendations of the review; and (c) can a copy of the review be provided; if not, why not.

(5) For each of the financial years 2000-01 to 2004-05: (a) how many in-house personnel worked on the project; and (b) how many consultants were engaged on the project and what was the total cost.

(6) When and why was this project removed from the Defence Materiel Organisation website.

*1370  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the assessment of grants announced by the Prime Minister on 22 August 2005 under the Community Partnership Stream of the National Community Crime Prevention Programme:

(1) Has Hillsong Emerge Ltd lodged two applications under the same scheme in the same round, one entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project and another entitled Blacktown and Riverstone Community Partnership.

(2) Have both applications proposed a similar range of local initiatives (e.g. sporting events and life skills workshops), aimed primarily at the Sudanese and Indigenous communities in the Blacktown and Riverstone areas.

(3) Has the application of the winning bid sought a grant of $414 479.

(4) Has the second application entitled Blacktown and Riverstone Community Partnership, sought a grant of $498 620.

(5) Were both applications assessed under the Greater Western Sydney region component of the National Community Crime Prevention Programme.

(6) Can a detailed description of the assessment process of grant applications under the Greater Western Sydney region component of the National Community Crime Prevention Programme be provided.

(7) (a) What criteria are applied to assess applications; and (b) do these criteria include the level of local support for the proposal.

(8) In assessing and approving these applications, does the department or an independent assessor provide recommendations to the Minister who formally approves the grants.

 

 (9) (a) Who approved the grants announced by the Prime Minister on 22 August 2005; and (b) were the grants approved in accordance with the recommendations of the department or an independent assessor.

(10) With reference to the application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project, does its budget include the following administrative items with a total cost of $229 300 over the 3 years of the project: (a) project coordinator wages and superannuation; (b) contract management; (c) administration and reception; (d) information technology and communications; (e) insurance; (f) audit; and (g) evaluation.

(11) What is the proportion of the administrative items listed in (10) above to the total grant and what is the normal proportion.

(12) With reference to the application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project, does its budget include funding for courses run by Hillsong Emerge Ltd at the cost of $1 000 a course, including ‘Shine’ courses.

(13) Does the application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project include the following performance indicators: (a) the number of people participating in each event; (b) the number of people participating in each excursion; and (c) the number of young people engaged in conversation.

(14) In relation to (13) above, are there any specified performance targets; if not, how will performance indicators be assessed.

(15) (a) On what basis was the application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project approved ahead of other applications in the same round; and (b) was the amount sought for the grant a factor in the consideration of the applications.

(16) Did Ms Louise Markus have any contact with the department in relation to these two applications: (a) as an employee of Hillsong Emerge Ltd; and (b) as an individual.

(17) With reference to the Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project, how much funding has already been provided to Hillsong Emerge Ltd.

(18) Were claims made by the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association (RACA) that Hillsong Emerge Ltd attached a letter of support from RACA, intended for the application entitled Blacktown and Riverstone Community Partnership to its second application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project.

(19) Does the application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project include a commitment from the RACA to contribute facilities to the project.

(20) Is it the case that RACA had no knowledge of the application entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project.

(21) Is the Minister aware of any media reports of the concerns of RACA.

(22) (a) What action has the department taken to investigate the concerns of RACA in relation to the Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project applications claims; and (b) what further action is planned.

 

 (23) Can the Minister confirm that the Chief Executive Officer of Hillsong Emerge Ltd, Mr Leigh Coleman, provided a written undertaking to representatives of RACA on 22 September 2005 to support RACA receiving $280 000 over the 3 years of the grant awarded to Hillsong Emerge Ltd under the National Community Crime Prevention Programme.

(24) What discretion does Hillsong Emerge Ltd have under the grant entitled Hillsong Emerge Ltd—Greater Blacktown Community Partnership Youth project, to offer $280 000 in grant funding to RACA.

(25) What action has been taken to investigate the undertaking by Hillsong Emerge Ltd to provide $280 000 in grant funding to RACA.