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Notice given 7 July 2006

2122  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the drug methamphetamine:

(1) How has the use of this drug increased over the past 10 years.

(2) What measures has the Commonwealth Government taken to prevent an increase in its use.

(3) How many Australians have died from using this drug, by year, over the past 10 years.

(4) What is the average age, sex and income of methamphetamine users.

(5) What is the estimated street value of the drug used in Australia in the past year.

(6) What are the differences in usage between capital cities and regional areas.

2124  Senator Bob Brown: To ask the Minister for Finance and Administration—

(1) Can the following details be provided on the $8 million program ‘Promoting Global Democracy’, listed as an expense measure for the department:

(a) what is the nature and purpose of the program;

(b) who is administering it;

(c) who is advising or providing any other form of assistance with its development or implementation, including their names and organisation;

(d) when was the program initiated;

(e) what activities will be undertaken under the program;

(f) (i) how will funding be allocated, (ii) who will decide how it is allocated, and (iii) what criteria will be used;

(g) how will the program be monitored and evaluated;

(h) has any money been committed or spent; if so, can details be provided;

(i) what are the reporting arrangements; and

(j) can copies be provided of all documents that outline the genesis, development and content of the program.

 

 (2) Can details be provided of all other publicly funded programs or expenditures that benefit federal parliamentary political parties or their members, directly or indirectly, apart from the standard entitlements available to members of parliament and, in each case: (a) what is the name of the program; (b) what amount is allocated for the 2006-07 financial year and each of the next 3 financial years; (c) what is the nature and purpose of the program; and (d) who will, or is eligible, to benefit.

2127  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia (AA) on 23 June 2006 that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigated the airspace management contract between AA and the Government of the Solomon Islands and failed to identify any information or activity that might constitute an offence:

(1) What caused the AFP investigation.

(2) On what date did the AFP investigation commence.

(3) On what date did the AFP investigation conclude.

(4) What was the scope of the AFP investigation.

(5) Did the investigation consider whether actions by AA might constitute an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or a state or territory; if not, why not.

(6) Did the investigation consider whether actions by AA might constitute an offence against a law of the Solomon Islands; if not, why not.

(7) What was the outcome of the AFP investigation.

(8) Did AA consult with the AFP and/or the Minister before revealing details of the AFP investigation on 23 June 2006.

(9) Is the Minister aware of a report in the Sunday Telegraph of 2 July 2006, alleging that third party payments by Airservices Australia funded ‘corrupt officials who directed the money to school fees for their children, cars for themselves and their wives and so-called ‘consultancy fees’ for companies owned by dodgy cronies’.

(10) Has the AFP initiated a further investigation based on these serious allegations; if so, can details be provided; if not, why not.

2128  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) On what date did: (a) the Minister and/or his predecessor; and (b) the department, become aware of an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation into contract payments made by Airservices to ‘third parties’.

(2) How did: (a) the Minister and/or his predecessor; and (b) the department, become aware of the investigation.

(3) How did: (a) Airservices Australia; and (b) the department, assist the AFP investigation.

(4) On what date was: (a) the Minister and/or his predecessor; and (b) the department, provided with advice of the outcome of the AFP investigation and in what form was the advice provided.

(5) On what basis did a spokesperson for the Minister advise the Australian Financial Review that the Airservices Australia payments constituted a technical breach of the contract rather than any illegality.

 

 2129  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) What amount has Airservices Australia collected in fees on behalf of the Solomon Islands Government, by year.

(2) What amount has Airservices Australia remitted to the Solomon Islands Government, by year.

(3) What payments has Airservices Australia made to third parties, by year.

(4) Can the Minister identify the third party recipients and related payments; if not, why not.

(5) What income has Airservices Australia derived from the contract arrangements, by year.

2130  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) Is the Minister aware of a report in the Sunday Telegraph of 2 July 2006, alleging that third party payments by Airservices Australia funded ‘corrupt officials who directed the money to school fees for their children, cars for themselves and their wives and so-called ‘consultancy fees’ for companies owned by dodgy cronies’.

(2) Has the Minister: (a) referred this serious allegation to the Auditor General; (b) sought a response from Airservices Australia; and (c) directed his department to undertake an investigation of these serious matters; if not, why not.

2131  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands: Can a copy of the contracts between Airservices Australia and the Government of the Solomon Islands for the provision of airspace management services be provided; if not, why not.

2132  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to a statement by the Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands: Can the Minister outline how Airservices Australia’s corporate governance procedures have ‘significantly improved’ following an internal investigation of contact payments to third parties.

2133  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands: How did Solomon Islands officials specifically request and approve payments to third parties by Airservices Australia.

 

 2134  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) Has Airservices Australia sought legal advice on any potential liability arising from its decision to make contract payments to third parties; if so: (a) when did it seek advice; (b) from whom was advice sought; (c) when was the advice received; (d) what was the nature of the advice; and (e) what did it cost; if not, why not.

(2) Has the department sought any legal advice in this matter; if so: (a) when was advice sought; (b) from whom was advice sought; (c) when was the advice received; (d) what was the nature of the advice; and (e) what did it cost; if not, why not.

2135  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) On what date did: (a) the Minister and/or his predecessor; and (b) the department, become aware of the audit into civil aviation matters undertaken by the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands which considered, among other matters, the contract with Airservices Australia.

(2) How did: (a) Airservices Australia; and (b) the department, assist the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands in relation to the audit.

(3) On what date did the: (a) the Minister; and (b) the department, receive a copy of the report by the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands.

2136  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Minister’s statement on 23 June 2006 relating to Airservices Australia’s administration of an airspace management contract with the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) On what date did Airservices Australia advise the Minister that payments ‘not strictly in accordance with the contract’ were made for ‘air travel, airport maintenance, training, equipment purchases and consulting services’.

(2) Is the Minister aware of a report in the Solomon Star of 27 June 2006, in which the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands says a ‘very significant amount’ of the third party funding paid by Airservices Australia was used for ‘very questionable purposes or for reasons we have not been able to identify’.

(3) Is the Minister aware that in this newspaper report the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands reveals that more than SBD $1.6 million of revenue collected by Airservices Australia was directed to ‘unidentified’ third party payments.

(4) Can the Minister explain the inconsistency between his media statement outlining the nature of the third party payments and the revelation by the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands that much of the revenue collected by Airservices Australia was directed to ‘unidentified’ third party payments.

 

 (5) Does the Minister have access to information from Airservices Australia or other parties about the nature of these payment which has been withheld from the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands.

(6) Has the Minister: (a) referred the comments by the Auditor General of the Solomon Islands to the Auditor General; (b) sought a response from Airservices Australia; and (c) directed his own department to undertake an investigation of these comments; if not, why not.

2137  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the airspace management contract between Airservices Australia and the Government of the Solomon Islands:

(1) Is the Minister aware of a report in the Sunday Telegraph of 2 July 2006, alleging that third party contract payments made by Airservices Australia funded ‘corrupt officials who directed the money to school fees for their children, cars for themselves and their wives and so-called ‘consultancy fees’ for companies owned by dodgy cronies’.

(2) Has the Minister or his department sought advice from: (a) Airservices Australia; and (b) the Government of the Solomon Islands, in relation to this serious allegation; if so, can details be provided, including the response of Airservices Australia and the Government of the Solomon Islands; if not, why not.