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Notice given 28 August 2006

*2443  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—With reference to the development of the Access to Premises Standard under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992:

(1) What is the process for consultation with state and territory governments concerning the inclusion of the standard in the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

(2) Given that the majority of signatories to the Inter-Government Agreement on the operation of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) are planning ministers, will consultation occur through the Local Government and Planning Ministers’ Council (LGPMC); if so, why was the issue not on the agenda for the LGPMC meeting on 4 August 2006.

(3) Given that the terms of reference for the Building Access Policy Committee (BAPC) indicate that ABCB will publish BAPC recommendations for changes to the BCA, when are these recommendations going to be published.

(4) Given that BAPC terms of reference state that ABCB will provide reasons to BAPC and afford BAPC an opportunity to comment if ABCB decides that a recommendation of BAPC will not be accepted; has BAPC been given any opportunity to comment on the ABCB advice to ministers; if not, when will BAPC be given an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the BCA and what process will be followed.

(5) Is it intended that amendments to the BCA, that take into account the standard, will come into operation on the same day as the standard takes effect under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

(6) Has the Minister requested that the ABCB or the department undertake any further work on the standard since 29 March 2006; if so, did this work include any further analysis of the costs and benefits of the proposed standard.

(7) Does the fact that $200 000 has been set aside by the ABCB in its budget for the 2006-07 financial year, in case further work is required on the standard, indicate that ministers have foreshadowed the potential for significant further work.

*2444  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Attorney-General—With reference to the development of the Access to Premises Standard under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 :

(1) What is the proposed process for consultation with state and territory Attorneys General concerning the standard.

(2) Why was no progress report on this issue placed on the agenda for the most recent Standing Committee of Attorneys General.

(3) Will the Commonwealth also directly consult state and territory ministers with responsibility for matters relating to building, since it proposed to incorporate the standard in the Building Code of Australia.

(4) When is it expected that the proposed standard will be made public.

(5) Approximately when does the Minister anticipate the tabling of the proposed standard.

 

 *2445  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources—Will the consultancy report on accessible housing, jointly commissioned by the Australian Building Codes Board and the Victorian Building Commission, be publicly released; if so, when.

*2446  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that agency fees and commissions are not included in the list of items that can be deducted from wages under regulations for 457 visas.

(2) Does the department undertake any monitoring of whether 457 visa holders are being forced to pay agency fees or commissions.

(3) What penalties apply if organisations or individuals are found to have deducted agency fees or commissions from the wages of 457 visa holders in breach of the regulations.

(4) How many individuals or organisations have been penalised for deducting agency fees or commissions from the wages of 457 visa holders in each of the past 3 financial years.

*2447  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—With reference to the 457 visa program, can a table be provided that displays the full breakdown of all occupations filled by principal applicant 457 visa holders who entered Australia in each of the financial years, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

*2448  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) What was the total number of 457 visa holders in Australia as at 30 June 2006.

(2) How many of these people were principal applicant 457 visa holders.

(3) Can a list be provided of all occupations filled by principal applicant 457 visa holders who were in Australia as at 30 June 2006.

*2449  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—With reference to the investigation into reported misuse of 457 visas by T&R Pastoral that was referred to in Senate question time on 16 August 2006:

(1) On what date did the department commence its investigation.

(2) On what date was the Minister’s office first made aware that an investigation was underway.

(3) Was the investigation actually undertaken by the department or was it performed by someone external to the department; if it was undertaken by someone outside the department, who was that person and/or organisation.

(4) On what date was the investigation completed.

(5) On what date was the Minister’s office first informed that the investigation had been completed.

(6) When was the department first advised of the investigation’s findings.

(7) When was the Minister’s office first advised of the investigation’s findings.

(8) What were the findings of the investigation.

(9) What penalties/sanctions, if any, have been imposed against T&R Pastoral.

(10) Can a copy of the investigation report be provided; if not, why not.

 

 *2450  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that the list, ‘Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs: Arrivals by Visa Category 457 by ASCO occupation, financial year 2004-05’, referred to in Senate question time on 17 August 2006, includes separate categories for inadequately described, self-employed, retired, pensioner (disability), pensioner (other), home duties, non-working child, student, unemployed and not stated.

(2) Are any of the people who appear in the above separate categories, also counted as part of the other occupational categories in this list; if so, why.

(3) Are any principal applicant 457 visa holders counted in the above separate categories.

(4) What is the meaning of the ‘not stated’ category on this list.

(5) Does the ‘not stated’ category include any principal applicant 457 visa holders.

*2451  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) Can a list be provided of all employers in Western Australia sponsoring workers on 457 visas in Western Australia as at 30 June 2006.

(2) Can a list be provided of the number of principal applicants on 457 visas sponsored by each of the above employers in Western Australia as at 30 June 2006.

(3) Can a list be provided of the number of other 457 Visa holders sponsored by each of the above employers in Western Australia as at 30 June 2006.

(4) What is the location of each of the above employers, including the federal electorate they are located in.

*2452  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) What is the total number of workers on 457 visas employed by businesses located in the federal electorate of Forrest as at 30 June 2006.

(2) What is the total number of workers on 457 visas, who were the principal applicant, employed by businesses located in the federal electorate of Forrest as at 30 June 2006.

(3) For all principal applicant 457 visa holders, employed by businesses located in the federal electorate of Forrest as at 30 June 2006, what is the number occupying each relevant ASCO classification.

(4) For all principal applicant 457 visa holders, employed by businesses located in the federal electorate of Forrest as at 30 June 2006, is the period they have been in Australia under that visa: (a) less than 1 month; (b) 1-2 months; (c) 2-6 months; (d) 6-12 months; (e) 12-18 months; (f) 18-24 months; (g) 24-36 months; and (h) 36 months or more.

(5) Has the department received any complaints of non-compliance by the employers of workers on 457 visas in the federal electorate of Forrest in the 2005-06 financial year; if so, what was the nature of those complaints and what action was taken to investigate those complaints.

*2453  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—

(1) Did the Minister sign off on new migration regulations to provide for minimum salary levels and occupations for the business long stay visa on 15 June 2006.

 

 (2) Is it the case that the words ‘calculated on a 38 hour week’ were included in subsections (2), (3), (4) and (5) of these regulations.

(3) Is it the case that the previous regulations, that were issued by the Minister on 24 April 2006 and revoked by the regulations issued on 15 June 2006 did not include the words ‘calculated on a 38 hour week’.

(4) What will be the effect of inserting the words ‘calculated on a 38 hour week’ into the regulations, for example, does it mean that 457 visa holders on the $41 850 minimum salary level need only work a 38 hour week to earn that amount and if they work more than 38 hours must receive additional salary.

(5) Does the insertion of those words mean that 457 visa holders are effectively paid a minimum hourly salary of $21.18.

(6) Does the insertion of those words mean that 457 visa holders are paid an additional $21.18 per hour for every hour worked over 38 hours.

(7) Is it the Minister’s intention that 457 visa holders who work 45 hours a week receive overtime equivalent to $148.26 in addition to the $804.84 that they are entitled to for working a 38 hour week; if so, what actions have been taken to inform all employers and 457 visa holders of this change.

*2454  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—With reference to the ‘migration occupations in demand’ lists prepared by the department:

(1) Can a copy be provided for each occasion on which the list was issued during the financial years, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

(2) What estimates of shortages are used by the department in generating these lists.

(3) What is the minimum numerical shortage for an occupation to be included on the list.

(4) What is the department’s numerical estimate of the shortage for each occupation included on these lists.

*2455  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs—Can a copy be provided of the list that the Minister was referring to in an answer to a question without notice from Senator Bernadi in Senate question time on 17 August 2006.

*2456  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to the Minister’s statement, in Senate question time on 9 August 2006, that ‘The Commonwealth Government has spent in excess of $1 million on orange-bellied parrot recovery programs’:

(1) Can a detailed breakdown be provided of how the $1 million in funding was spent, indicating: (a) the year or years in which it was spent; (b) the amount spent in each year; and (c) the programs funded.

(2) How much funding has been allocated for the programs in the 2006-07 financial year.

*2457  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Heritage—With reference to referrals lodged in the 2004-05 financial year for assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 :

 

 (1) (a) Of these referrals, how many did the department recommend that the action was not controlled under the Act; and (b) did the Minister overturn any of these recommendations; if so, how many.

(2) (a) Of these referrals, how many did the department recommend that the action was controlled under the Act; and (b) did the Minister overturn any of these recommendations; if so, how many.

(3) (a) Of the referrals that were determined to be controlled actions, how many did the department recommend be approved without conditions under the Act; and (b) did the Minister overturn any of these recommendations; if so, how many.

(4) (a) Of the referrals that were determined to be controlled actions, how many did the department recommend be approved with conditions under the Act; and (b) did the Minister overturn any of these recommendations; if so, how many.

(5) (a) Of the referrals that were determined to be controlled actions, how many did the department recommend not be approved under the Act; and (b) did the Minister overturn any of these recommendations; if so, how many.

*2458  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) (a) How many consultants were involved in the evaluation of the Commonwealth Disability Strategy (CDS); and (b) what are the names of those consultants.

(2) What was the cost of the consultations carried out for stages 1 and 2.

(3) Has the department received the evaluation from Erebus International; if so, when will the evaluation be released.

(4) How many Commonwealth organisations have/have not addressed the needs of people with disabilities in employment or community participation in accordance with the CDS.

(5) If any government department/agency has not addressed the needs of people with disabilities in employment or community participation in accordance with the CDS what action will be taken to rectify this.