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Notice given 28 July 2006

2262  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) What is the current status of plans to add Western Australia’s North West Coastal Highway, which connects three of the top six tonnage ports in Australia, including the nation’s largest port at Dampier, to the AusLink National Network.

(2) (a) When was the proposal to include the North West Coastal Highway in the AusLink National Network first raised; and (b) what is the current timeframe for a decision to be made.

(3) (a) Which roads linking eastern-state capitals are already in the Auslink National Network but were not part of the previous National Highway system; and (b) what criteria were met for their inclusion.

(4) For each of the financial years: (a) 2000-01; (b) 2001-02; (c) 2002-03; (d) 2003-04; (e) 2004-05; and (f) 2005-06, can the following information be provided on the National Highway/Auslink National Network: (i) roads that have received funding, (ii) the states that they link, and (iii) the funding allocated for each of the projects.

2263  Senator Bishop: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to a report in the Northern Territory News of 18 July 2006 entitled ‘Army cops fire for its blasts’:

(1) (a) What was the cause of the ‘loud explosions’ at Robertson Barracks on or about 16 July 2006; (b) how many explosions occurred; (c) at what time did the first explosion occur; and (d) when did the last explosion occur.

(2) Who authorised the use of explosives at the Barracks on or about 16 July 2006.


 (3) What procedures are in place for the use of explosives at Robertson Barracks.

(4) (a) How often are explosives used in exercises conducted at Robertson Barracks; (b) what types of explosives are used; and (c) in what areas of the barracks site are explosives used.

(5) Can a copy of the media release issued to the Northern Territory News be provided.

(6) (a) What other methods are used to inform nearby residents of the use of explosives at Robertson Barracks; and (b) how much notice of such events is given to residents.

2264  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—With reference to the legal proceedings involving claims by Mr Mark McMurtrie against the Commonwealth:

(1) (a) What is the total cost to the Commonwealth of this litigation up until and including the appeal in the Supreme Court of New South Wales; and (b) what is included in this cost (including costs of external legal advice, any interlocutory proceedings and related departmental expenses).

(2) From which budget were most, if not all, of these litigation costs met and can relevant items in the budget papers be specified.

(3) When did the original legal proceedings begin.

(4) When was the Commonwealth notified of the appeal.

(5) Did the Commonwealth ever seek to negotiate an act of grace payment; if so, on what dates.

(6) Did the Commonwealth ever seek to resolve the dispute via litigation alternatives, like mediation or negotiation; if so, on what dates.

(7) Was the Commonwealth ever approached to mediate or negotiate a resolution by Mr McMurtrie; if so: (a) on what dates was the Commonwealth approached; and (b) what was the Commonwealth’s response.

(8) Can the Minister confirm that Mr McMurtrie was self-represented for part of these proceedings; if so, which part of the proceedings was Mr McMurtrie self-represented.

(9) Does the Commonwealth have any special protocol for conduct in proceedings where the opponent is self-represented; if so, what does this protocol provide.

(10) What sections and departments of the Commonwealth were involved in this litigation, either through acting in the legal proceedings, providing advice or funding or administration.

2265  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—Can the following details be provided for each of the compensation payments made to Australian veterans since 1996: (a) the date of the payment; (b) the payment amount; (c) the nature of the compensable injury; (d) the legislative vehicle through which payment was effected; (e) whether the case was the subject of appeal and the out of that appeal; and (f) the cost of legal services associated with the case.