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Notice given 2 November 2006

2600  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—

(1) Is it the case that lap sash seat belts are not mandatory in non-urban school buses.

(2) Are lap sash seat belts mandatory in other non-urban buses; if so, what is the justification for the different requirements between school and non-school buses.

(3) How many children and young people use non-urban school buses.

(4) What are the major risks to children and young people associated with bus travel.

(5) Do the risks differ depending on the size of the bus.

2601  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to Australian Design Rule (ADR) 68 Occupant Protection in Buses, that requires lap sash seats, no standees, rollover protection, emergency exits on all sides and roof, etc:

(1) What is the Government’s intention with regard to compliance with ADR 68 for: (a) rural school buses built since 1995; and (b) urban school buses built since 1995.

(2) Is it the case that the National Transport Commission (NTC) agreed that the current exemption from ADR 68 should only apply to urban school buses built since 1995; if so, what is the justification for rural school buses being exempt.

(3) (a) Which states have complied with ADR 68 for: (i) rural buses built since 1995, and (ii) urban buses built since 1995; and (b) in each case, what is the reason for doing so.

(4) When will the matter next be raised at the NTC.

 

 2602  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, why has there been an overspend of 17.1 per cent in the program in the 2005-06 financial year.

2603  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Regional and Rural Research and Development Grants, why has there been an underspend of 19.7 per cent in the program in the 2005-06 financial year.

2604  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme, why has there been an underspend of 12.6 per cent in the program in the 2005-06 financial year.

2605  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the advice given by the department in the May 2006 Budget estimates hearings of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Committee Hansard , 23 May 2006, p. 109) that $84.7 million would be expended during the 2005-06 financial year on the Regional Partnerships Program: (a) how much of this funding has been expended; and (b) how will unspent funds be used.

2606  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—How much did the Growing Regions Conference, hosted by the Minister in Brisbane from 25 July to 27 July 2006, cost the Government.

2607  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Rural Transaction Centres program: (a) will 267 rural transaction centres be operational by June 2007; and (b) of the 239 rural transaction centres approved by June 2006, how many are now operational.

2608  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the construction of the Bert Hinkler Hall of Aviation Museum project:

(1) Why has the original commitment of $1.45 million from the 2002-03 financial year been re-allocated to the 2006-07 financial year.

(2) Have any additional payments been made to the project proponent since January 2006.

(3) Have additional funds for the project been made available by the Bundaburg City Council and the Queensland Government.

(4) (a) What was the original completion date for the museum; and (b) will this be achieved.

2609  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Post-2005 Assistance Package to be delivered through the Regional Partnerships Program: (a) on what basis was the package developed; (b) how will it be administered; (c) who is eligible; (d) which regions are eligible; (e) how will funds be allocated; and (f) can details be provided of funding allocated to date.

 

 2610  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—For each of the financial years 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10, can details be provided of administered and departmental payments made under the Sustainable Regions Program, including a comparison between the final funding outcome and the final budget for the 2005-06 financial year.

2611  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Reginald Murray Williams Australian Bush Centre project in Eidsvold, funded through the Regional Partnerships Program:

(1) Was an application submitted for funds for the project before it was announced in 2004.

(2) Does the Government’s $4 million commitment to the project still stand.

(3) How much funding will be provided to the project by Eidsvold Shire Council.

(4) Has the Queensland Government agreed to provide funding for the project.

(5) Will other financial sources be provided for the project.

(6) Has a provider that will produce a business plan and feasibility study been selected.

(7) How many times has the steering committee overseeing the project met.

(8) What consultation is being carried out by the proponent, the Eidsvold Shire Council, with the local community regarding the proposed centre.

(9) In relation to a council-funded motel to be opened in May 2007, referred to in the tender document to select a provider for the business plan and feasibility study: (a) how will the motel be financed; and (b) has the community been consulted.

2612  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services—With reference to the Sustainable Regions Program:

(1) How much in total has been spent in the each of the original eight sustainable regions to date.

(2) Can details be provided of how the figure of $33 million was determined for the two new sustainable regions (Darling-Matilda Way and Northern Rivers/North Coast).

(3) (a) Given that the department has confirmed that $9.3 million of the $20.683 million is to be re-phased to the two new regions over the 2006-07 financial year, as shown in the Transport and Regional Services Portfolio Budget Statements 2006-07, how will the remaining $11.383 million of administered funds be used; and (b) will it be re-phased to other programs, or will it be returned to the Government.

(4) Can details be provided of the total funding now available to the two new sustainable regions including the re-phasing of $9.3 million.

(5) Can details be provided of the progress of the Darling-Matilda Way Sustainable Regions Committee, including: (a) members appointed; (b) date of appointment; (c) number of times the committee has met; (d) number of applications for funding the committee has received; (e) number of applications for funding approved; and (f) details of any expenditure of the funds allocated to the committee’s region.

 

 (6) Can details be provided of the progress of the Northern Rivers/North Coast Sustainable Regions Committee, including: (a) members appointed; (b) date of appointment; (c) number times the committee has met; (d) number of applications for funding the committee has received; (e) number of applications for funding approved; and (f) details of any expenditure of the funds allocated to the committee’s region.

(7) How do sustainable regions committees ensure that approved projects fit within the strategic plans developed by the relevant area consultative committees that are located within the boundary of the sustainable region.

(8) Can details be provided of the progress of the internal audit of the Sustainable Regions Program that was not completed at the close of the program in June 2006.

(9) (a) What is the total number of sustainable regions projects in the eight original sustainable regions that did not claim their payments by June 2006; and (b) can details be provided of the progress of these projects.